FORT WORTH – Prosecutors have told a Texas jury that a man in a drug treatment program in 1986 confessed to killing a former high school acquaintance.
Ryland Shane Absalon was 17 when Ginger Hayden was stabbed more than 50 times in 1984 before her first day of college.
Absalon was arrested in 2010 in Sierra Vista, Ariz. Testing revealed that items in Hayden's apartment matched his DNA. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
Defense attorneys told a Tarrant County jury Tuesday that Absalon falsely confessed to killing Hayden because he was sleep-deprived and pressured in the treatment program.
They say Absalon's DNA was present because Hayden was his friend. Defense attorneys also say DNA from an unknown man was found under the victim's fingernails and on a quilt.