National News

Aug 21, 2014 9:51 AM by AP

Nevadan seeks to overturn 1976 murder conviction

DNA technology that wasn't available four decades ago will be front and center in a Reno courtroom where a 64-year-old woman is trying to overturn her murder conviction after spending more than 30 years in prison.

Public defenders for Cathy Woods are scheduled to make their case for granting a new trial during a hearing Thursday afternoon in Washoe District Court.

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

But authorities say DNA evidence on a cigarette butt that recently was re-examined links someone other than Woods to the murder scene in a garage near the UNR campus where Mitchell was tied up and her throat slashed in 1976.

The FBI says the DNA matches that found at a crime scene tied to the Bay Area's "Gypsy Hill" murders during the 1970s.

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