CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A 1985 Bedford County murder case is in the spotlight again.
Albemarle County Sheriff J. E. "Chip" Harding is hoping to get Jens Soering case reopened and eventually free a man he believes is innocent.
Harding has teamed up with a retired detective from the Charlottesville Police Department and a forensic expert from Liberty University to ask for this decades-old murder case to be reexamined.
"There's way beyond a reasonable doubt in this case. This case isn't even close," said Harding.
Harding is fighting for Soering, who is serving a life sentence for the 1985 murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom in Bedford County. He is accused of murdering the parents of his girlfriend, Elizabeth, but Harding believes the evidence no longer supports that theory.
"Why not get into a review of the evidence? There's more that we could test. There's more sensitive technologies out there that could help. The bottom line is justice through science," said J. Thomas McClintock, Ph.D., Liberty University Forensic Science Program.
According to investigators, the most recent DNA report proves that the blood samples that initially matched Soering's type are not his. The profiles do not match.
"Now we have a contributor of blood on the front door and a contributor of blood in the kitchen that are male contributors and they are not Derek Haysom and they're not Jens Soering and that's irrefutable. The DNA is not wrong. There are two strangers bleeding in that crime scene," said Richard Hudson, a retired detective sergeant with the Charlottesville Police Department.
Hudson said Elizabeth, who was convicted of accessory before the fact, has inconsistencies in her story that are cause for concern.
He, along with the other investigators, also believe some of the original evidence was disregarded or not given enough thought by the Bedford County Sheriff's Office.
Harding said the Sheriff's Office has made it clear that the case will not be reopened. But he is holding out hope that Gov. Terry McAuliffe may view the full evidence and pardon Soering.
We contacted the Sheriff's Office and the Governor's Office and neither have returned a request for comment.