Mark Woodworth, 39, has spent most of the last 20 years in prison, after being convicted twice for the 1990 shooting death of his neighbor, Cathy Robertson, The then-16-year-old is also accused of shooting her husband, Lyndel Robertson, who survived.
A jury found Woodworth guilty in 1995. He appealed, and another trial in 1999 also resulted in a guilty verdict. Woodworth was sentenced to life in the Department of Corrections.
In May of 2012, Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler asked that Mark Woodworth’s conviction be set aside, citing the prosecution’s failure to provide key evidence to Woodworth’s lawyers. Oxenhandler claimed the Chillicothe man was a victim of “injustice,” saying there was nothing “fundamentally fair” about the investigation into Robertson’s murder.
The case went before the Missouri Supreme Court on the 4th of October. It was three months later when the high court released their decision to vacate Woodworth’s conviction, ruling the prosecution had withheld evidence favorable to his defense.
Woodworth was later released on $50,000 bond. He walked out of the Livingston County Jail just before 1:00 on the 15th of February.
The State has filed a motion to retry Woodworth, and those court proceedings are underway. The case is being heard in Platte County on a change of venue.
Judge Owens Lee Hull, Junior ruled in April to exclude key evidence from this trial. He said the bullet recovered from Lyndel Robertson was not properly handled by a private investigator, and barred the Attorney General’s Office from discussing the gun allegedly used in the shooting.
A number of hearings have been held in Platte County in regards to specifics of the trial. A date has not been set, and no upcoming court appearances are scheduled for Woodworth at this time. Online court records indicate the depositions of six people will be taken next Wednesday.