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Court rejects DNA evidence petition by Tennessee death row inmate

Tenn. Death Row inmate Oscar Franklin Smith
Tenn. Death Row inmate Oscar Franklin Smith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee court has declined to reopen the case of a death row inmate scheduled to be executed this month.

Oscar Smith filed the motion to reopen last week after DNA from an unknown person was detected on one of the murder weapons.

In a Monday order, a Davidson County Criminal Court judge says the evidence of Smith’s guilt is overwhelming and the DNA evidence does not tip the scales in the direction of innocence.

Smith is scheduled to die by lethal injection on April 21.

He was convicted of fatally stabbing and shooting his estranged wife, Judith Smith, and her two teenage sons, Jason and Chad Burnett, at their Nashville home on Oct. 1, 1989.

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