WATERLOO – The defense rested in the murder trial of Stanley Carter Liggins after his attorney called a day’s worth of witnesses in Black Hawk County District Court on Thursday.
Jurors were given Friday off and will return to the courtroom for closing arguments on Monday. No rebuttal witnesses were called.
Liggins, 57, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis in September 1990. She disappeared from her Rock Island home and was found dead later that night behind Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport.
Prosecutors said Liggins, an acquaintance of Jennifer’s family, picked up the girl after giving her money to buy gum and then sexually abused and strangled her and set her body on fire.
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This is Liggin’s fourth trial. He was convicted of murder in 1993 by a Scott County jury, and the verdict was later overturned on appeal. A second trial following a venue change to Dubuque also resulted in a guilty verdict in 1995.
That conviction was overturned in 2013, and his third trial ended in a mistrial with a hung jury in Waterloo in 2018.
Testimony in the current trial began earlier this month.