Jens Soering asking governor for absolute pardon

By Bethany Teague - Reporter
A Bedford County murder case, more than 30 years old, is back in the spotlight.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSLS 10) - A Bedford County murder case, more than 30 years old, is back in the spotlight.

Jens Soering, who was convicted of killing his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Haysom's parents in 1985, is asking Governor Terry McAuliffe for an absolute pardon.

Soering's lawyer, Steven Rosenfield, said new DNA analysis proves crime scene blood that was tested does not match Soering. He also said just this summer British detective and lecturer Andrew Griffiths concluded after a five-month investigation that Soering's initial confession to police was false.

"He asked to speak to law enforcement in order, from his vantage point, to protect the woman that he loved, Elizabeth Haysom, from facing murder charges in America and being eligible for the death penalty," said Rosenfield.

A German-made documentary on this case, "The Promise," screened Wednesday in Charlottesville. It aired at the Munich Film Festival in June, and is expected to come to North America in the fall.

Bedford County Sheriff's Office investigator Ricky Gardner was assigned to this case. He put out a statement Wednesday saying:

"Mr. Rosenfield's announcement this week does not change the status of Jens Soering's conviction. In fact, these results have been publicly known for several years. Based upon the totality of evidence that was presented in Soering's trial in June 1990, I remain confident that he perpetrated these heinous crimes. With the possibility of additional legal actions based upon this announcement; I do not feel it is appropriate to make any additional comments at this time. In June 1990, this case was tried and decided in a court room and not in the media."

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