ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- A number of witnesses chipped away at a convicted killer’s claim that police beat a confession out of him. Reginald Clemons is fighting for his freedom in a special hearing. He was convicted of killing Julie and Robin Kerry. They were raped and pushed to their deaths from the old Chain of Rocks Bridge in 1991. Clemons took the stand Wednesday and testified police spent hours hitting and slapping him, beating him into confession, that he suffered injuries from the beating.
But jail employees, police and even a man who was once related to the Clemons’ family told a different story. Joyce Taylor was a booking clerk when Clemons was processed after being charged. She said he made no complaint about being beaten by police and she didn’t see any visible injuries on Clemons.
Darla Gray was also in prisoner processing. She testified she didn’t notice any visible injuries to Clemons’ face or anywhere else on his body.
Warren Williams is a former police officer and he was once related to Clemons by marriage. Williams said he didn’t notice any injuries to his face when he visited the suspect in a holding cell. He said that Clemons told him of being with the wrong crowd at the bridge, that they rape two girls and pushed them into the river. But, Clemons told Warren he did nothing wrong.
A D.N.A expert from the Highway Patrol Crime Lab recently tested evidence from the crime. She used new procedures not available more than 20 years ago. She found the victims’ D.N.A. on a used condom discovered in the parking lot at the bridge. A stain on Clemons’ co-defendant’s boxer shorts also showed the victims’ D.N.A. and the co-defendant’s D.N.A. The expert could not rule out Clemons’ D.N.A. from being a part of that stain.