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Lawrence trial stayed by court of appeals

A trial scheduled for this week was continued after the Court of Criminal Appeals of the State of Oklahoma issued a stay in the proceedings following a writ of mandamus that was filed with the appeals court by the defendant’s attorney asserting the lack of certain DNA evidence.

The trial of Delante Trevon Lawrence, 26, Lawton, was moved last Friday to the January 2020 docket following an order from the Court of Criminal Appeals issued last Friday.

The order from the appeals court came after Lawrence’s attorney, Ronald “Skip” Kelly filed a petition for a writ of mandamus asking the appeals court to stay the trial proceedings. A writ of mandamus is an order compelling the performance of any act required by law.

In this case, the defendant alleged that he filed several requests for discovery of relevant evidence and the state of Oklahoma suppressed those requests by not providing the evidence. Specifically, the defendant alleges that the state withheld information relating to witnesses and information relating to scientific tests relating to DNA evidence.

Lawrence’s attorney asserted in his request for the writ that there was an unknown person that was at the alleged crime scene and that DNA evidence could lead to the discovery of the identity of the unknown person.

The Lawton Constitution

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