Homicide

Reno judge orders new trial in 1976 killing; lawyers cite new DNA evidence

A Nevada judge has ordered a new trial for a 64-year-old woman who has been in prison for more than 30 years for a killing she says she didn't commit.

Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan ruled Monday in Reno in the case of Cathy Woods. A new trial is set for next July.

Defense lawyers argued that recently discovered DNA evidence raises serious questions about Woods' murder conviction in the 1976 slaying of Michelle Mitchell on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Woods was under psychiatric care at a Louisiana hospital in1979 when she initially acknowledged killing 19-year-old Mitchell but later recanted.

Authorities say the evidence links someone other than Woods to the scene in a residential garage where Mitchell's throat was slashed.