Murder weapon in Kerry Max Cook case kept - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Murder weapon in Kerry Max Cook case kept as prosecutor's 'souvenir,' attorneys say

Kerry Max Cook released from jail in 1999. Kerry Max Cook released from jail in 1999.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

The knife used in a 1977 East Texas murder was kept by the former Smith County District Attorney for the last 10 years, attorneys say.

In a motion filed Monday by Kerry Max Cook's attorneys, they say an April 20, 2012, phone conference between Cook's attorneys, a Dallas judge and the Smith County District Attorney's office revealed that former Smith County District Attorney A.D. Clark, III, kept the murder weapon in his possession.

Click here to read an excerpt from the motion to reconsider.

Cook's attorneys also say they learned Clark kept a slide of biological material from the case.

According to the motion, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Mike West explained that "Mr. Clark had retained the evidence as 'souvenirs.'"

In the motion, Cook's attorneys write, "the rather off practice of Mr. Clark keeping evidence of a murder case in his personal possession raises many questions, both legal and psychological."

A.D. Clark III says the allegations that he kept the evidence are, "absolutely 100 percent, completely false."

On April 9, 2012, Dallas Judge John Ovard granted Kerry Max Cook's request for more post-forensic DNA testing on evidence collected from the crime scene in 1977. In court fillings, Cook maintains that more DNA testing would prove his innocence.

According to the motion filed Monday, Cook's attorneys say they have learned, "that Mr. Clark, with the permission and assistance of other persons, has destroyed the chain of custody as to the murder weapon and potentially other items as well."

In April, Judge Ovard denied Cook's request to recuse Smith County Judge Kennedy from hearing his case. The request for recusal was made because Cook's attorneys allege prosecutorial misconduct has denied him a fair trial on multiple occasions.

In the newly filed motion, Cook's attorneys are requesting Judge Ovard reconsider the denial because of this newly discovered information.

In the motion, Cook's attorneys specifically ask Judge Ovard to reconsider recusing Judge Kennedy because they have learned that her husband was an assistant Smith County District Attorney during Cook's prosecution in the 1990s. They write that information raises the question, "Did Mr. Kennedy share his knowledge and opinions of Mr. Cook's case with his wife, Judge Kennedy?"

A hearing date on the motion for reconsideration has not yet been set.


Related stories:

  • NewsMore>>

  • East Texas nonprofit needs items for 'freedom bags'

    East Texas nonprofit needs items for 'freedom bags'

    Monday, April 23 2018 8:25 AM EDT2018-04-23 12:25:41 GMT

    An East Texas non-profit that helps girls and women from all over the area escape situations of sexual exploitation needs help from the community.

    More >>

    An East Texas non-profit that helps girls and women from all over the area escape situations of sexual exploitation needs help from the community.

    More >>
  • Crews fish truck out of Sabine

    Crews fish truck out of Sabine

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:12 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:12:44 GMT
    An unusual call out for water rescue in one East Texas town, as a truck has to be fished out of the Sabine River. It happened Saturday at the boat launch ramp in Lakeport at the river bridge on highway 149. Fishermen had been putting their boats in and out of the water at the Lakeport ramp all day,  but one entry into the water didn't go as planned. The driver was out of the truck when."It came out of gear, went into the river. Fortunately, it was a vehicle with nobody i...More >>
    An unusual call out for water rescue in one East Texas town, as a truck has to be fished out of the Sabine River. It happened Saturday at the boat launch ramp in Lakeport at the river bridge on highway 149. Fishermen had been putting their boats in and out of the water at the Lakeport ramp all day,  but one entry into the water didn't go as planned. The driver was out of the truck when."It came out of gear, went into the river. Fortunately, it was a vehicle with nobody i...More >>
  • TxDOT launches 'Drive Clean Texas' in honor of Earth Day

    TxDOT launches 'Drive Clean Texas' in honor of Earth Day

    Sunday, April 22 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-04-22 20:40:35 GMT
    (Source: Pixabay)(Source: Pixabay)

    The Texas Department of Transportation is unveiling its "Drive Clean Texas" in honor of Earth Day.

    More >>

    The Texas Department of Transportation is unveiling its "Drive Clean Texas" in honor of Earth Day.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly