Trial in 1977 Killing asks: Were Suspects Framed?

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Two men wrongly convicted in the 1977 murder of a retired Iowa police officer hope to prove that detectives framed them to solve a high-profile case.

During a trial that starts Wednesday in Des Moines, Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee will argue that Council Bluffs officers coerced witnesses into fabricating testimony that framed them for killing John Schweer.

Schweer was shot while working as night watchman at a car dealership. Harrington and McGhee were black teenagers from neighboring Omaha. They were convicted based on testimony from witnesses, who later said they were coerced into lying.

Harrington and McGhee were in prison until 2003, when the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors committed misconduct in concealing reports about a troubled white suspect seen near the crime scene with a shotgun.

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