Evidence in Kerry Max Cook's case destroyed without consent, Coo - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Evidence in Kerry Max Cook case destroyed without consent, attorneys say

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

Wednesday, Kerry Max Cook submitted affidavits in support of his allegations that the Smith County District Attorney's Office improperly destroyed evidence from his case.

Affidavits from the three attorneys that represented Cook in his 1999 no-contest plea all state that they were not notified any evidence would be destroyed.

Cheryl Wattley, Steven Rosen and Paul Nugent each signed and submitted affidavits stating that they, "did not receive a notice form (sic) the Smith County District Attorney's Office, District Clerk, District Court or any other agency informing me that evidence pertaining to the prosecution of Kerry Max Cook would be destroyed."

Each attorney, who represented Cook when he was charged with capital murder, also states, "had I received such a notice I would have objected to the destruction of the evidence."

In Wednesday's motion, Cook's attorneys cite article 38.43 in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, previously article 38.39, when stating "Smith County was required to notify 'the defendant, the last attorney of record and the convicting court of the decision to destroy evidence'..."

Monday, Cook filed a motion requesting that a judge reconsider his denial of Cook's request to recuse Smith County judges from hearing his case. The motion for reconsideration was filed as a result of "other newly discovered information."

In Monday's motion, Cook and his attorneys allege a former Smith County District Attorney, A.D. Clark, III, kept the murder weapon as a "souvenir" and "destroyed the chain of custody as to the murder weapon and potentially other items as well."

A. D. Clark, III denies the allegations that he kept any evidence.

A hearing for Cook's motion to reconsider has not been scheduled.


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