Local man arrested in connection to Kalkaska homicide - WNEM TV 5

Local man arrested in connection to Kalkaska homicide

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Jason Ryan Jason Ryan

The Michigan State Police, in conjunction with the Kalkaska Police Department and Kalkaska County Prosecutor's Office, are announcing the arrest of a second person they say is linked to a 17-year-old cold case.

Authorities said Geraldine Montgomery, 68, was found dead in her home on Oct. 6, 1996. 

Previous investigations into Montgomery's death resulted in the arrest and conviction of Jamie Peterson in 1998. Investigators said Peterson ultimately admitted to the crime and had information that only someone at the scene should have knowledge of. 

Evidence at the time of the trial, however, indicated that more than one person was involved in the homicide.

In May of 2013, a team of detectives was assembled to re-examine the cold case and review the existing DNA evidence. Through the use of newer technologies, a DNA profile was obtained that police said led to the identification and arrest of the second perpetrator. 

Police said that during the time of the homicide, the suspect resided in Kalkaska. However, the 35-year-old man has since moved and was arrested on Dec. 2, in the Davison area. That man, Jason Ryan, was arraigned on three charges Tuesday afternoon, including open murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

Caitlin Plummer, staff attorney at the Michigan Innocence Clinic, with the University of Michigan Law school in Ann Arbor, contends that Jamie Peterson was innocent at the time he was convicted. Plummer's group has been working for months to show Peterson was innocent.

"Our argument has been that Jamie Peterson is innocent of the crime he was convicted of and that the DNA proves his innocents and implicates this other individual as the perpetrator of the crime," said Plummer.

More information and details in this case are located in the sidebar.

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