May 9, 2024
May 9, 2024
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Court hearing granted for Missouri woman imprisoned for 42 years, raising possibility of release

Court hearing granted for Missouri woman imprisoned for 42 years, raising possibility of release

A woman from Missouri who has been incarcerated for over forty years for a murder that her supporters believe she did not commit is set to have a court hearing that may result in her release.

Sandra Hemme, 63, was convicted of the murder of Patricia Jeschke, a library worker in St. Joseph, on November 12, 1980. The Missouri attorney general’s office has agreed to hold an evidentiary hearing for Hemme, as reported by The Kansas City Star.

The Innocence Project’s lawyers filed a petition in February to seek Hemme’s exoneration and release. Hemme, who was a patient at a psychiatric hospital, provided conflicting statements about the murder to investigators.

In response, the attorney general’s office requested Circuit Judge Ryan Horsman to ensure that the lawyers involved in the case are prepared to schedule an evidentiary hearing date during their meeting on July 10.

Hemme’s legal team argues that the only evidence linking her to Jeschke’s murder were statements she made to detectives while at the St. Joseph State Hospital’s psychiatric ward, which they claim were “wildly contradictory” and “factually impossible.”


Initially, Hemme did not mention a murder, then implicated a man who was later proven to be in Topeka at the time, and later attributed her knowledge of the murder to “extrasensory perception,” according to her attorneys.

Two weeks after Jeschke’s body was discovered in her apartment in eastern St. Joseph, Hemme told authorities that she believed she had stabbed the victim with a knife, but then expressed uncertainty, stating “I don’t know. I don’t know,” according to her legal team.

The attorney general’s office acknowledged that Hemme’s attorneys have presented “alleged facts that if true may entitle her to relief.”

Initially pleading guilty to capital murder, Hemme’s conviction was overturned on appeal. She was subsequently found guilty in a one-day jury trial in 1985 based solely on her “confession.”

The Innocence Project alleges that state officials withheld evidence during the trial that could have pointed to a 22-year-old St. Joseph police officer who was under investigation for insurance fraud and burglaries, and later served time in prisons in Missouri and Nebraska before his death in 2015.

Shortly after Jeschke’s death, the officer used her credit card, her earrings were found in his apartment, and his alibi of being with another woman at a motel next to Jeschke’s apartment during the murder could not be corroborated by his colleagues.

Lloyd Pasley, a former senior member of St. Joseph’s detective division in 1980, who also served as interim police chief, believes in Hemme’s innocence and suggests that evidence points to the officer as the perpetrator.

The current Missouri attorney general, Andrew Bailey, has a history of opposing motions for wrongful convictions. Bailey’s office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Bailey assumed office in January, following his predecessor Eric Schmidt, who is now a U.S. senator. Schmidt opposed efforts to free Kevin Strickland, who was exonerated in 2021 after spending 43 years in prison for a triple murder he did not commit. Schmidt also resisted an attempt to exonerate Lamar Johnson, who was released in February after 28 years behind bars.

Kent Gipson, a seasoned attorney based in Kansas City with extensive experience in post-conviction claims, mentioned that he could recall only one other innocence case where the attorney general’s office agreed to an evidentiary hearing. Gipson is not involved in Hemme’s case.

Court Hearing Granted for Missouri Woman Imprisoned for 42 Years

A Missouri woman who has been serving a prison sentence for 42 years has been granted a court hearing that could potentially lead to her release. This development has sparked a flurry of attention and raised important questions about the criminal justice system and the possibility of redemption.

Case Details

The woman, whose identity is being withheld for privacy reasons, was convicted of a serious crime in the 1970s and has been behind bars ever since. Over the decades, she has maintained her innocence and has sought legal assistance to prove her case.

Potential Release

The recent court hearing granted to the woman opens up the possibility of her release if new evidence or legal arguments can be presented to challenge the original conviction. This development has given hope to the woman and her supporters who have been advocating for her freedom for years.


This case sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals who have been incarcerated for long periods of time and raises important questions about the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system. It also highlights the potential for redemption and second chances, even after decades of imprisonment.

Benefits and Practical Tips

For individuals who have been wrongfully convicted or are seeking legal remedies for their cases, this story serves as a reminder that justice can prevail, even after many years. It is essential to have a strong legal team and support network to pursue such avenues of relief.

Case Studies

There have been numerous cases in which individuals have been exonerated or granted new trials after serving long prison sentences. These cases demonstrate the importance of legal advocacy and perseverance in seeking justice and fairness in the criminal justice system.

Firsthand Experience

For those who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system, whether as a defendant, a family member, or a supporter, this case resonates deeply. It showcases the power of hope and determination in the face of adversity and highlights the need for ongoing reform and improvement in the legal system.


The court hearing granted to the Missouri woman imprisoned for 42 years signifies a significant step in the pursuit of justice and fairness. It underscores the importance of continued advocacy and legal efforts to correct injustices and provide opportunities for redemption and reform.

Key Takeaways
Hope for redemption after long imprisonment
Importance of legal advocacy and support networks
Challenges and opportunities in the criminal justice system



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