Hearing for man serving 70-year prison sentence for murder has been reset to next year

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HOUSTON – An evidentiary hearing for a man serving a 70-year prison sentence for murder has been reset to January 2020, KPRC2 Investigates has learned. 

A jury convicted Lamar Burks of murder in 2000. Burks is accused of killing Earl Perry in June 1997. Burks has maintained his innocence and an evidentiary hearing scheduled to take place Tuesday was supposed to be an opportunity for Burks' defense to reveal new evidence to support his claim. What transpired, however, was a rescheduling that followed a series of events that left the hearing's future unclear for a bit. 

Burks requested a continuance: one for his legal team to assemble what he said were additional witnesses central to proving his innocence. 

The other: possibly to part ways with one of his attorneys. 

Judge Greg Glass in the 208th District Court allowed for the court to recess while Burks and his legal team resolved their apparent differences. 

Once they did, both sides discussed the continuance. 

The prosecution fought the request, arguing the hearing had been postponed in the past. The state also accused Burks' defense team of posturing because a key witness, Randy Lewis, was a no-show. 

Lewis testified before the grand jury that indicted Burks in 2000, but in a sworn statement KPRC2 Investigates reported Monday, Burks' legal team now argues Lewis has flipped. 

Lewis must be present for the evidentiary hearing. Judge Glass granted the continuance in order for Burks' defense to locate him. 

The Harris County District Attorney's Office expressed disappointment over the reset. 

Dane Schiller, a spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney's Office, released the following statement:

"We remain confident that Burks’ conviction is supported by the evidence and the law. Prosecutors were prepared for the scheduled hearing today and were disappointed that it was reset at the request of Burks' counsel.

"We look forward to the day when Earl Perry’s family can finally put this behind themselves."

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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.