Cathy Woods' lawyers requesting new trial

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Updated: 5/14/2014 2:39 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Early Wednesday afternoon, a status hearing wrapped up to determine if a new trial will be granted in a 1976 Reno murder case.

News 4 began covering this unusual case in March of 2014. The case goes back decades, and the lawyers for 76-year-old Cathy Woods are now requesting a new trial. Woods was convicted in 1980 and then again in 1985 for the murder of 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell.

Mitchell was a nursing student at UNR before she was stabbed to death, her throat slashed. Woods confessed to the murder while she was under psychiatric care at Louisiana State University Medical Center at Shreveport, Louisiana.

Since then, new technology has emerged and testimony today confirms DNA evidence gathered at the crime scene does not match that of Woods. The DNA found at the crime scene matches that of semen gathered ifrom a separate crime scene in San Mateo, California. The semen, however, is from an unidentified man.

Because the Reno case may be tied to five or six other open cases in California, the FBI has started a new task force. Judge Patrick Flanogan gave the state 90 additional days to see if any new evidence emerges from this task grieve investigation.

News 4 will have more on this story in Wednesday's evenings newscasts.

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