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Judge allows Tempest to argue for new trial

June 13, 2014

WOONSOCKET – A Superior Court judge has decided that Raymond D. Tempest Jr. will be allowed to argue that his 1992 murder conviction should be vacated after his lawyers told the court new DNA evidence from hair the victim was clutching in her hand came from someone other than him.

Tempest, 61, is serving 85 years for the 1982 bludgeoning murder of Doreen C. Picard, 22, in the basement of a multifamily house on Providence Street.

Judge Daniel Procaccini brushed aside the arguments of state prosecutors who opposed Tempest’s amended motion for post-conviction relief. They told Procaccini they face an unfair burden in overcoming the defendant’s case because key witnesses from the trial are no longer alive.

The judge’s decision doesn’t mean that Tempest’s conviction is vacated or that he is entitled to a new trial. It means his lawyers are entitled to argue the merits of the new evidence during a full-blown hearing and that state prosecutors may offer rebuttal.

Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Call.

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