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Fingerprint error clouds Indiana murder case

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 2, 2012 - 10:37 am

ELKHART — A northern Indiana sheriff says a detective will be punished for misidentifying a fingerprint as that of a woman who was convicted in 2005 for the death of a 94-year-old woman.

The Elkhart County prosecutor has asked a judge to set aside Lana Canen's murder conviction, saying jurors could've relied on testimony that it was Canen's fingerprint on a pill container inside Helen Sailor's Elkhart apartment where she was killed in 2002.

Sheriff Brad Rogers said during a Monday news conference that the detective admitted to his error and that the fingerprint analysis didn't go far enough. Rogers wouldn't say what discipline the detective will face.

Prosecutors plan to refile murder charges against Canen. She and Andrew Royer were both sentenced to 55 years in prison for Sailor's death.