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The FAQ: The Murder of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen
What appeals has Byron Case made since being sentenced?

Since his conviction for murder more than a decade ago, Byron Case has filed three appeals, all without success, his last petition denied by the Supreme Court of the United States. He has now exhausted all of his appeals, and it is pretty much certain that he will remain in prison for the rest of his life.

Case filed a motion for a new trial on May 22, 2002 and his motion was denied on June 28, 2002, the day of his sentencing. He also made a verbal appeal that day,1 accusing the judge in his trial of having slept through much of the proceedings, but that appeal was rejected out of hand, as he offered no corroboration of his accusation.2

His appeals to higher courts were as follows:

  1. Case filed his first appeal on May 7, 2003 with the Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District). In it, he argued that his rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments had been violated.

    He argued that allowing a tacit admission was allowing hearsay evidence, he further argued that his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination was violated when police used his ex-girlfriend to elicit the tacit admission.

    The Appellate Court denied his appeal on April 13, 2004.3 It dismissed his Fifth Amendment argument,4 as he was not under any legal compulsion to incriminate himself at the time of his tacit admission. As noted in his brief, police might have had probable cause to arrest him before June 2001, but the court responded that there "is no constitutional right to be arrested" and that police "are under no constitutional duty to call a halt to a criminal investigation the moment they have the minimum evidence to establish probable cause."

    Case also argued that "all of the state's evidence rested on the contradictory and uncorroborated testimony" of a single eyewitness, which the Court noted to be untrue.5 The Court pointed out that Kelly Moffett's testimony was not the sole basis upon which he was convicted, and that most of the inconsistencies he pointed out were:

    1. from her original statements to police, when she was supporting his alibi (statements which she repudiated);
    2. inconsistent on minor points (e.g., how far away Anastasia's killer was standing from her when he fired);
    3. statements contradicted only by defense witnesses, which is an issue left to the jury to determine credibility.
    On August 24, 2004, The Missouri Supreme Court declined to review the Appellate Court's decision.

  2. Case filed his second appeal on November 8, 2005 in Missouri 16th Circuit Court (where he had been convicted), an appeal arguing that he had receieved ineffective counsel (known as a "Rule 29.15" motion in the Missouri court system). His motion was denied October 7, 2005 on a number of grounds.6 His arguments on this topic are documented in another FAQ section7

    Case appealed this ruling in 2006, with the same arguments and counter-arguments. A response from the prosecutor was filed in early 2007, and on February 26, 2008, the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District issued its decision affirming the lower court's ruling.8 His attorney quickly filed a motion for rehearing with the Missouri Supreme Court, which was rejected without comment on April 29, 2008.

  3. Case filed an habeas corpus appeal in the United States Court of Appeals 8th Circuit on March 9, 2009, which was rejected on February 26, 2010, with a rehearing denied on April 6, 2010.

    Acting as his own attorney, he filed a petition before the Supreme Court of the United States on July 1, 2010 for a writ of certiorari. His petition was denied without comment by SCOTUS on October 4, 2010; a petition for rehearing was filed nine days later, and was likewise denied on Novemer 15, 2010.9

According to the Office of the Missouri Attorney-General, Case has now exhausted all of his appeals.

On September 18, 2011, Case filed a petition with the Office of the Governor of Missouri for an "absolute pardon".10 The family filed a response within the time allowed for response, and the petition waited 10 years (and more than one Missouri Governor), and was finally turned down on September 20, 2021.

In 2016, his supporters managed to convince a fledgling MTV show, "Unlocking the Truth", to take him as one of their subjects. In the end, that effort fell flat, and he realized no help from it.

On December 4, 2023, a petition to Recall the Mandate was filed on his behalf, making some new arguments but introducing no exculpatory evidence. They also convinced a podcaster specializing in "true crime" stories to take it up based solely upon their POV. The motion was denied on February 26, 2024, which coincidentally was exactly 14 years after his habeas corpus appeal was denied.

Case has now been behind bars for more than half of his life, and as we have stated before, we believe that Case will remain in prison for the rest of his life.

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