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40 Year Old Murder Case Back In Centre County Court

A murder case that is more than 40 years old is back in Centre County court.

Defense attorneys say they’ve uncovered new evidence that should be heard in a new trial.

Prosecutors disagree though, and say they see no reason for any new court hearings.

Subramanyam Vedam, of State College, was just 19 years old when police say he murdered his roommate, Thomas Kinser, in late 1980.

Vedam was later convicted of first-degree murder in 1983 and has since been locked up at a state prison in Huntingdon County.

He has repeatedly denied his guilt and his legal team claims there’s recently discovered evidence that could free him.

“We certainly envision a new trial. We believe Subu was wrongly convicted. He’s an innocent man serving time for a crime he didn’t commit.”

A murder weapon was never found in the slaying, but the bullet that killed Kinser is key to the new appeal.

The prosecution said it came from a .25 caliber handgun, and that Vedam bragged about owning a similar caliber handgun.

Vedam’s attorneys, however, say an FBI report on measuring the fatal shot showed that it came from a .22 caliber pistol, not a .25, and that the report was withheld.

They also claim that it was never disclosed during Vedam’s murder trial that .22 caliber casings were found near the crime scene.

Vedam’s attorneys also argue a key witness lied during the trial and much of the evidence used to convict him was circumstantial.

“So, they actually generated a lot more information. It’s kind of like an iceberg. They provided just what’s on the surface, but not what’s underneath. There’s a lot of stuff in that part of the iceberg that’s not apparent. So, part of it is going to involve the bullet hole and part of it will be metallurgical evidence.”

The Centre County district’s attorney office has responded, denying many of the Vedam legal team’s claims, saying they’re meritless, or have been previously ruled on at earlier appeal hearings.

Officials also claim that they are relying on an imprecise and fading memory of a trial process from 40 years ago.

A judge heard some of the new arguments this week in Centre County court.

Another hearing is scheduled for May, if the judge doesn’t decide to dismiss the request for more appeal hearings.

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