Attorneys are asking the Missouri Supreme Court to free a man convicted of killing his mother when he was a teenager.
Michael Politte has been behind bars for over 22 years, after being tried as an adult and convicted of second-degree murder. He is accused of killing his mother, Rita, who was burned to death inside her Washington County home. Michael Politte was 14 at the time of the murder.
Politte’s attorneys say their client was convicted on now-disproven evidence, and was subject to a faulty investigation and flawed defense at trial. In court records filed Wednesday, the attorneys claim the only evidence linking Politte to the murder was a report that claimed the teen had gasoline on his shoes. The filing claims that the finding was based on now-discredited fire investigation techniques and that even the state admits Politte did not have gas on his shoes.
The attorneys are asking that their client be freed as well as an evidentiary hearing or appointment of a special master to investigate the case.
The Missouri Court of Appeals refused to hear the case in September.