LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles man who had two murder convictions overturned by federal appellate courts has been charged with three other murders authorities say were the work of the "Skid Row Stabber."
Los Angeles County grand jury indictments unsealed Tuesday show that Bobby Joe Maxwell was charged with murder again in three cases dating back to the 1970s. His original jury in those cases deadlocked in 1984.
Maxwell has already been awaiting trial in two other murder cases after those convictions were overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Maxwell, 63, has been in prison for more than 30 years. He had been accused of killing 10 transients in Los Angeles in 1978 and 1979. Jurors convicted him of two murders, acquitted him of three and deadlocked on five of the charges.
The appeals court found he was the victim of a notorious jailhouse snitch who committed perjury in his two convictions, and those verdicts were overturned. His new trial on those charges alleging he killed David M. Jones, 39, and Frank Garcia, 45, must proceed on other evidence.
The informant was Sidney Storch, who was at the center of a scandal involving false testimony that defense lawyers said helped convict 225 defendants. Storch has since died.
The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to reinstate the two convictions and a life sentence and left it to prosecutors to decide if they wanted to retry Maxwell. Prosecutors did reinstate those charges.
The new indictment reinstates charges that accuse Maxwell of murdering Jose Cortez, 32, Bruce Drake, 46, and Frank Reed, 36, in 1978.