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Institute for Actual Innocence Believes Soering Not Guilty of Haysom Murders

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

More people are joining the effort to free a former University of Virginia student who has so far spent more than 30 in prison.

Governor Terry McAuliffe is still reviewing DNA evidence in the double murder case against Jens Soering as part of his pardon request.

Former Deputy Attorney General of Virginia Gail Starling Marshall hosted a press conference at CitySpace Friday, October 27, where she was joined by Soering's attorney Steven Rosenfield. They, along with the Institute for Actual Innocence and others, believe there is proof Soering should be out of prison.

Derek and Nancy Haysom, the parents of Soering's then-girlfriend Elizabeth, were found dead inside their Bedford County home back in March 1985.

A forensic science expert said on Friday that DNA evidence at the murder scene points to two unidentified males, who may have committed the crime with Haysom.

"I believe that Jens Soering wasn't there, and if Jens Soering wasn't there he couldn't have committed the murder. So, in this case the abstinence of evidence basically means the person couldn't have been there," said George Washington University professor Moses Schanfield.

Soering claims to have confessed to both murders to spare Elizabeth from the death penalty, and believing he had diplomatic immunity because of his father's position as a German diplomat.

Friday, an expert on police interrogations believes Soering’s confession is unreliable, due to too many factual errors.

Haysom pleaded guilty to being an accessory before the fact, contending that she helped plan the murders of her parents but did not physically take part. She is serving a 90-year sentence at Fluvanna Correctional Center.

Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding has expressed frustration about Bedford County not reopening the case, contending it's a matter of public safety.