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Testimony wraps up in murder appeal hearing

Posted: September 28, 2011 9:47 p.m.
Updated: September 28, 2011 9:47 p.m.

Testimony wrapped up Wednesday in the case of a man convicted in a Santa Clarita Valley murder that attorneys are trying to have overturned, an attorney said.

For the past few months, lawyers representing the California Innocence Project have been introducing evidence they hope will convince Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Dohi to give Edward Contreras a new trial.

On Wednesday, Project Director Justin Brooks — the man representing Contreras, now 40 — introduced his last witness, Cinnamon Stancil, at Van Nuys Superior Court, he said.

The ongoing court case is a habeas corpus hearing to determine if there is enough new evidence for a new trial.

According to Brooks and advocates of the California Innocence Project, Contreras, formerly of Canyon Country, is innocent and wrongly imprisoned for the 1995 machete murder of Freddie Walker.

In 1995, Walker was beaten to death at a barbecue at Taylor’s mother’s home in Santa Clarita, his body hacked to pieces and dumped in Bouquet Canyon.

Scott Taylor and Ed Contreras were each convicted of murder in Walker’s death and sentenced to life in prison.

Contreras has remained behind bars since 1997.


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