November 8, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced his office is filing an appeal from a ruling issued November 3 by a DeKalb County Circuit Court entering an actual innocence order in the matter of State ex rel. Dale Helmig v. Larry Denney.
In August 1993, the body of Norma Helmig, defendant Dale Helmig’s mother, was found in the Osage River tied to a concrete block. On March 9, 1996, a Gasconade County jury found the defendant guilty of first degree murder, and he was subsequently sentenced to life without parole.
Prior to the DeKalb County Circuit Court’s November 3 order, various other Missouri and federal courts have reviewed and affirmed the underlying finding of guilt in Mr. Helmig’s case.
“Two separate entities – a Gasconade County jury and a DeKalb County circuit judge – have reviewed the evidence in this case and arrived at dramatically different conclusions,” Koster said. “This is an extraordinarily serious matter. Because our system of law is one of checks and balances, it is appropriate that the judge’s decision be reviewed by the Missouri appellate courts before it is rendered final. The Court’s own words at pages 12 and 13 of its opinion presage such a review.”