Elkhart murder conviction could be overturned - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart murder conviction could be overturned


It looked like the case was closed.

Now, the Elkhart County prosecutor says a judge needs to take another look at a murder case that was solved in 2005.

He says the detective who matched a fingerprint at the crime scene is having second thoughts.

Ninety-four year old Helen Sailor was killed in her apartment at the Waterfall High Rise in Elkhart in 2002.

Three years later, Andrew Royer and Lana Canen were convicted of killing her and sentenced to 55 years in jail.

But Canen maintains she didn't do it.

At a recent hearing, Canen asked a judge to set aside her conviction, saying there was faulty evidence in her trial.

In 2005, during her trial, Elkhart County Sheriff's Department Detective Dennis Chapman identified a fingerprint on a pill bottle in Helen Sailor's apartment as Canen's, but reviewing the print nearly a decade later, he's changed his mind.

A news release from the Elkhart County Prosecutor's office says, "For the first time since testifying against Canen in her jury trial in 2005, Chapman determined that he no longer believed the finger print matched that of Canen."

This change has Elkhart County Prosecutor, Curtis Hill, joining Canen in her request to set aside the conviction.

"Based upon that evidence, I believe it to be appropriate for the court to vacate the conviction and allow us to review the situation and determine where we go from there," says Hill.

Hill says it's something that doesn't happen often, "but I think when it does happen we should take it seriously, review the matter and make a good as decision and result as possible."

If a judge grants the motion, original murder charges will be reinstated.

We called the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department to try and talk with detective Chapman.

We're told the Sheriff will hold a news conference, Monday.

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