New DNA evidence in Nevada slaying scrutinized

RENO — A Nevada judge considering a new trial for a woman who has served more than 30 years in prison for a murder she says she didn’t commit has postponed his decision after her lawyers said they have additional, new DNA evidence they believe will prove her innocence.

Cathy Woods was convicted twice of killing Michelle Mitchell, a 19-year-old nursing student at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1976.

Authorities recently confirmed a cigarette butt links someone other than Woods to the killing scene in a garage on the edge of campus where Mitchell was tied up and her throat slashed.

Public defender Maizie Pusich said Thursday modern DNA technology also has identified a cigarette lighter, a pair of shoes and a piece of twine she believes may match DNA on the cigarette.

Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan continued the case to Sept. 8 so more testing can be done.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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