Attorneys Work To Exonerate Man Convicted Of 1996 Kalkaska Murder

Jan 13, 2014

A University of Michigan law group is seeking the release of a man convicted of a 1990s murder in Kalkaska.

Jamie Lee Peterson has served 17 years of his life sentence for the 1996 rape and murder of Geraldine Montgomery, a widow who lived alone.

Jason Ryan (pictured left) of Davison was charged with the murder last month. Some say the new evidence exonerates Jamie Lee Peterson (right), who has served 17 years in prison for the crime.
Credit MLaw Newsroom

DNA from the case was said to be inconclusive at the time, but new methods of analysis were applied last year, says Caitlin Plummer, an attorney with the Michigan Innocence Clinic.

"At his trial, the prosecutor argued that the DNA was consistent with there being two people; that there was a second sample that couldn't be tested and that sample might belong to Jamie Peterson," Plummer says.

"But now, with the advancements in technology, we were able to test that sample and we know that it in fact does not belong to Jamie Peterson."

Plummer says she expects to file a court motion by the end of the month. She says the evidence "fully exonerates" Peterson, and she hopes he at least gets a new trial.

Meanwhile, Jason Ryan of Davison was charged with the murder last month after he was found to match the DNA through a nationwide database. Ryan is scheduled for a court hearing later in January.