Jens Soering Petitions Gov. McAuliffe for Pardon Based on New Evidence
A German diplomat's son convicted of murder is petitioning Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe for an "absolute pardon" and parole based largely on blood analysis.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Evidence is surfacing about a former University of Virginia student convicted of killing his then-girlfriend's parents nearly 30 years ago.
Attorneys for Jens Soering are revealing DNA findings which they say remove Soering from the 1985 crime scene and prove his innocence. They say a comparison between the 1985 serology report and a more recent 2009 DNA review shows Soering's blood is nowhere to be found.
Soering, now 50 years old, has maintained his innocence in the 1985 Bedford County killings of Nancy and Derek Haysom.
“I just can't walk away from the fact that ultimately, the very bad decision was mine,” Soering said. “I started this ball rolling when I decided to tell a lie."
The former German scholarship student confessed to the double murders in an effort to shield his girlfriend from the death penalty and is currently serving two life sentences.
In a 2011 interview with NBC29, Soering says his confession was false.
“If he was the killer, he would have known what Nancy Haysom was wearing - he got that wrong. He would have known where the bodies were, if he had killed them. He got that wrong too,” said Steven Rosenfield, Soering’s attorney.
At a press conference Wednesday, August 24, Rosenfield says a comparison between the 1985 serology report and a 2009 post-conviction DNA review proves Soering was not at the scene of the crime.
"And so, we now know that the government’s belief was that there was one killer who had type O blood. We now know 2 things - it was not Jens Soering and that there is a killer still at large that the sheriff's department doesn't think is worthy of further investigation,” Rosenfield said.
Many of the blood samples have degraded over the last 30 years, but 11 items from the 1985 serology evaluation were left to be test. Two were type O blood.
Soering was type O, but the DNA scientist reports that Soering was eliminated as a contributor.
“So, we have Jim Updike telling the jury that there was only 1 killer, that killer left type O blood, and that was Jens Soering. And now, science in 2009 reports that the two type O blood samples that could be tested eliminates Jens Soering,” Rosenfield said.
Soering, along with his attorney, is now petitioning Governor Terry McAuliffe for an absolute pardon and request for parole. They’re confident this new blood analysis is the final piece which will allow Soering to walk free.
The Associated Press Contributed to this article.