Judge Allows Death Row Inmate's Request for DNA Test

A judge on Friday granted a death row inmate's request for DNA testing on clothes worn when the victim was slain in 1979.

The tests could cast doubt on Brian Keith Moore's conviction in the death of Virgil Harris by putting another man at the crime scene, said defense lawyer David Barron.

Vicki Glass, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Greg Stumbo, said prosecutors may file an appeal "due to the overwhelming evidence of Moore's guilt."

"The evidence in this case has been handled by a multitude of people over 27 years," Glass said. "DNA evidence would be inherently unreliable at this late date."

Harris was on his way to his 77th birthday party when he was kidnapped from a grocery store parking lot and killed.

Barron said the ruling allows testing of Harris' clothing and items taken from him, as well as pants and shoes that police said Moore was wearing at the time. Barron said the pants in question don't — and have never — fit Moore, who weighs about 350 pounds.

Moore, 49, is the first Kentucky death row inmate to use a state law to seek testing on evidence stemming from a crime predating DNA tests.

Thirty-nine other states have similar laws, which have led to 14 inmates being freed from death row.