Three of the 12 Missouri jurors who found Walter Barton guilty of the 1991 murder of Gladys Kuehler say they are now doubtful about his guilt after hearing testimony that contradicts the prosecution’s “strongest evidence,” just days before Barton’s execution. Barton, who went on trial five times, was with Kuehler’s granddaughter and a neighbor at a mobile home park in Ozark when they discovered the 81-year-old dead after being stabbed more than 50 times, according to The Kansas City Star. When police arrived at the scene, they found blood stains on Barton’s clothing, which he claimed was from pulling Kuehler’s granddaughter from the body. The granddaughter later contradicted his defense, saying that he was never in the room, according to court documents.
Barton’s lawyer solicited a crime scene analyst to assess the blood stain evidence. He concluded that the stain patterns were not consistent with “high-medium to high energy impact” that would suggest Barton was the killer. The jurors, after reading the analyst’s conclusion, asserted that the new evidence had raised “serious questions” about Barton’s guilt. “It is a worse nightmare because evidence, never heard by the jury who rendered judgment, undermines the key evidence used to convict,” Duchardt told the Star.