JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A man sentenced for raping and murdering a court reporter in her home in 1982 will not face a retrial, St. Louis Circuit Court Attorney Jennifer Joyce announced Wednesday.
The announced comes just days after Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green on Friday ordered 56-year-old George Allen Jr. released from prison within 10 days. He had been in prison since 1983.
Allen, a diagnosed schizophrenic serving a 95-year sentence, was accused of raping and killing 31-year-old Mary Bell after breaking into her St. Louis home. The crime occurred about 10 miles from Allen’s University City home during a historic snowstorm on Feb. 4, 1982.
Lawyers with The Innocence Project took up Allen’s case in 2010, arguing police coached Allen into confessing. They also said new lab tests plus forensic evidence not shared with the defense cleared Allen.
At the time, St. Louis police said Allen confessed to raping other women, and eventually admitted to killing Bell in a tape recording. Riley, the only person to witness the recording, died in 1996.
The circuit attorney’s office decided against trialing Allen again because Rile would not be able to serve as a witness.