Kerry Max Cook Conviction Set Aside
Kerry Max Cook was convicted of killing Linda Joe Edwards in 1978 and is now seeking exoneration.
According to KLTV, state attorneys and Kerry Max Cook have agreed to set aside his murder conviction after his initial trial in 1978.
Linda Joe Edwards was found raped and murdered in 1977 in her Tyler apartment. Cook was found guilty and sentenced to death row. He received a second trial in 1992 but that ended with a hung jury. 994 brought a third trial that once again found him guilty of murder and was sentenced to life in prison.
However, in 1996 the Texas Criminal Court overturned the conviction. Cook's attorneys alleged gross mishandling and prosecutorial misconduct in his 1978 trial. His attorneys also filed at the time saying evidence pointing toward a Tyler college dean, James Mayfield, had been withheld by the state.
Mayfield was Edwards' ex-boyfriend who admitted having a sexual relationship with her three weeks before her death. He later changed his story saying he had sex with her the night before her murder and had seen her within hours of her death.
In 1999, Cook accepted as plea deal that if he pleaded no contest to the murder, his sentence would be time served. Cook accepted and was released from jail. Also in 1999, DNA evidence from Edward's underwear showed a match to Mayfield, not Cook.
Kerry Max Cook is now seeking a finding of "actual innocence" and compensation for his time in prison, approximately $1.6 million.