Mentally disabled Elkhart man says 2005 murder confession was coerced

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ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Attorneys for a mentally disabled man in Elkhart say his 2005 murder confession was coerced.

Andrew Royer’s attorneys filed a new appeal Wednesday in Elkhart County Superior Court to overturn his conviction and grant him a new trial. The petition alleges Royer was convicted based on bad policing, poor work by his defense lawyer, false witnesses statements and law enforcement concealing evidence.

Royer’s attorney, Elliot Slosar, says the filing is based on evidence uncovered by innocence clinics at three law schools.

Royer and Lana Canen were convicted of killing 94-year-old Helen Sailor in Elkhart on Thanksgiving Day 2002.

Canen’s conviction was reversed in 2012 after a county Sheriff’s Department detective recanted his testimony. Royer lost a 2011 appeal and a 2016 post-conviction relief petition.

The Elkhart Police Department declined to comment on the new appeal.

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