Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
A beer can introduced as evidence in the murder trial against an Albuquerque real estate investor is going to be tested for DNA nearly three decades after his conviction.
Jerry Vernon is serving a life sentence for shooting fellow businessman and longtime friend Larry Stevens in the face near La Luz Trail in 1989. He went on to spend two years on the lam after escaping from the minimum security geriatric unit of a New Mexico prison.
Now 81 years old, Vernon was in state District Court on Thursday as attorneys told Judge Carl Butkus they had agreed to test the can, which had been checked for fingerprints, but not DNA.
Vernon’s attorney, Joseph Sullivan, said during the hearing that the beer can was one of the only pieces of physical evidence admitted at the 1991 trial. It was mentioned by investigating officers, an eyewitness and Vernon himself.