Just a little follow-up.
The bite mark evidence was the only physical evidence the prosecution presented that purportedly linked him to Haley Oliveaux. But they did present other evidence, including jailhouse snitch testimony (a guy who said Duncan confessed to him), and some lacerations on the young girl’s rectum.
This evidence was all flawed, too (to put it mildly). I don’t want to give too much away, because as I noted, this is also the cover story for our April issue, and I go into the rest of the state’s case there. It should hit newsstands in a couple of weeks.
The point of the online piece was to introduce the video and give it some context, with respect to both West’s and Hayne’s broader legacy, and to the role the video and bite mark testimony played in Duncan’s case. But we wanted to keep the focus on the video, and not distract from it by getting into a drawn-out discussion of Duncan’s case.
But I do want to clarify that the bite marks weren’t the state’s only evidence against Duncan. But they were the only physical evidence. There was no semen, blood, DNA, hair fibers, or any other biological evidence on Duncan’s clothes, in the bathtub, or on or in Haley Oliveaux.
The only person who knows for certain if Jimmie Duncan is innocent is Jimmie Duncan. He and Oliveaux were alone together when she died. This case is in some ways similar to the Jeffrey Havard and Devin Bennett cases in that the incident in question was either a murder or an accident (Duncan all but admitted negligence in leaving the girl alone in the tub). So there will never be a DNA test–either to exonerate Duncan or to confirm his guilt. What is abundantly clear, however, is that he didn’t get anything approximating a fair trial. That, and it’s the most damning piece of evidence yet showing that Mississippi and Louisiana courts have been frighteningly deficient in allowing Hayne and West to testify for the last 20 years.
Speaking of which, Hayne testified in a murder case again today.