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Jefferson City prisoner trying to prove innocence to appear in court

A mid-Missouri prisoner fighting to prove his innocence is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

Rodney Lincoln is currently serving life in prison in Jefferson City for the murder of JoAnn Tate, who was killed in St. Louis back in 1982.

Her two daughters were also brutally attacked, but they survived.

Most of the evidence used to convict Lincoln was based on the testimony of the older, 7-year-old girl, who identified him as the killer.

However, in December that witness changed her story.

Melissa DeBoer said new memories were triggered after seeing a mugshot for the serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells. He was already executed last year in Texas.

Lincoln said he understands what happened.

“Who am I gonna blame, Melissa? She was 7 years old. If was in her place I’d do the same thing.”

Lincoln has spent more than 30 years in prison for Tate’s death.

A Facebook group of Lincoln’s supporters called “Pack the Courthouse to Support Rodney Lincoln” said Thursday hearing is a “full evidentiary hearing.”

The group indicates that this hearing was scheduled after aconference last Friday when officials decided the hearing on motions that was scheduled for tomorrow should be expanded to a full evidentiary hearing.

Thursday’s hearing is scheduled for 1:30 in the Cole County Court.

ABC 17 will have a crew in Cole County today to find out what happens in that hearing. We’ll add any updates and details we learn to this story and will have full coverage of the hearing starting on ABC 17 News at 5:00.

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