Update (4:30 p.m.) – A Chillicothe resident will sleep in his own bed Friday night after spending nearly two decades behind bars. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade report:
On the heels of court testimony Wednesday regarding his potential release, Mark Woodworth’s mother Jackie said, “I have cleaned his room and washed his sheets. We’re ready for him to come home.” On Friday, that became reality.
KMZU News received information at about 9:00 a.m. that a bond amount of $50,000 had been set. As Woodworth walked out of the Livingston County Jail shortly after 1:00 p.m., cheers erupted from the large crowd gathered to support the 38-year-old and his family.
Woodworth was twice convicted by two separate juries in the 1990’s for the shooting death of his neighbor Cathy Robertson. After years of legal proceedings, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned that conviction last month and Woodworth’s attorney immediately filed a motion, calling for his release. Robert Ramsey said Friday that all of the work over the past several years has paid. “I have never had a day like this. I have won my share of cases and I have lost my share. I can just say that it feels like I am about 200 pounds lighter today.”
Woodworth’s father, Claude, said his son’s first meal would likely include some kind of “red meat.” His mother, Jackie, said tonight will be a time of celebration and an opportunity to get reacquainted. “We have a lot of people coming. We have family from Illinois that he hasn’t seen since he has been in prison, because they have never been on his visiting list. He has brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews that he has never met. He’s got a lot of people to meet tonight.”
Woodworth, in a brief discussion with reporters, also detailed his plans for his first evening at home. “I’m going to eat some good food… and stuff like that.”
Spokesperson for the Robertson family, Susan Ryan, says Cathy’s children Friday night are dealing with the fact that the man they believe killed their mother is no longer in custody. “Mark Woodworth has been twice found guilty of this murder. The evidence proves that. They can put the bullets in his pocket and the gun in his hand. He and his parents were the only people who had access to the murder weapon. The defense can try to blame everybody else they possibly can for this, but the evidence points to Mark Woodworth.”
Woodworth will next appear in a Platte County courtroom on Apr. 18 at 10:30 a.m. In the meantime, he will work on his parents farm east of Chillicothe and readjust to life outside of a six by eight.
Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak to Woodworth’s family and friends gathered at the jail Friday afternoon:
Claude and Jackie Woodworth –
Supporter Angela Graham –
Update (12:57 p.m.): Mark Woodworth is walking out of the Livingston County Jail to a large crowd of supporters.
Update (12:27 p.m.): Mark’s parents, Claude and Jackie Woodworth, have just arrived at the Livingston County Jail.
Update (12:00 p.m.): A large crowd has gathered in Chillicothe as Mark Woodworth prepares to be released. According to KMZU’s Chelsea Wade, the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department stated that they plan to release Woodworth shortly after 1:00. They are currently awaiting the arrival of his attorney, Robert Ramsey.
Update (11:50 a.m.): Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Robertson family:
Original Story: According to Woodworth’s attorney, Robert Ramsey, Platte County Judge Owens Hull, Jr., ruled Friday morning that Woodworth is eligible to be released on a $50,000 cash-only bond while the state prepares to put him on trial for a third time. Woodworth has been serving a life sentence in the 1990 fatal shooting of his neighbor, Cathy Robertson. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last month that evidence favorable to Woodworth’s defense had been withheld in the previous two trials. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that the state would seek a third trial.
Click the link below to listen to KMZU’s Mike Stone talk to Woodworth’s attorney and Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox:
Robert Ramsey –
Steve Cox –