Beach judge refuses lie-detector evidence in Decker murder case

A Virginia Beach judge said the state’s rules for evidence are clear: No lie-detector evidence in court. But he said, this might be the case that challenges that.

Judge Stephen Mahan turned down a request from lawyers for murder defendant Raymond Lewis Perry to use the polygraph evidence at trial. They say Perry took and passed a lie-detector test over the summer, clearing him of robbing and murdering off-duty Norfolk officer Victor Decker. They asked the judge to either overlook the state’s ban, or to order a hearing on the accuracy of polygraph sciences. The judge did neither, turning aside the motion.

He said it is possible that a case will one-day overturn the state’s refusal to consider lie detectors in trials, but he said his court wasn’t the right one to take up that issue. That, he said, would most likely be taken up in an appeals court where Perry’s lawyers said they would go next. They pointed out that the reliability of fingerprints and DNA were once questioned, too, and now those kinds of forensic evidence are considered ironclad.

Perry is facing the death penalty, charged with robbing and murdering Decker in Oct. 2010. The case was unsolved for nearly two years when police charged Perry based on testimony from as many as five jailhouse informants. Perry has said he had no role in the killing and that the felons are making up stories to please prosecutors to get time trimmed from their sentences. Court testimony shows there are no eyewitnesses to the murder, and no DNA, fingerprints or gun evidence that ties Perry to the murder scene.

The case was scheduled for opening statements in Febrary, but the judge said there are so many issues still to be decided that he would have to postpone the trial. Attorneys for both sides have a week to tell the judge what the new date should be.

Related: 

Lie Detector: Accused cop-killer didn’t do it

No physical, forensic evidence tying anyone to Victor Decker’s murder

Prosecutors want death penalty for man accused of killing officer Victor Decker

Officials kept arrest of second suspect in Decker murder case quiet for weeks

Man accused of killing Decker indicted on new charges

Felon witnesses in Decker shooting want reduced sentences

New details released in Officer Decker murder

Man charged in Decker murder appeared in court today

Accused killer of Victor Decker offers to take lie-detector test

Man charged in Decker murder in court today

Red light camera may have led to charge in Decker case

Victor Decker’s widow marks his birthday

Man charged in the 2010 murder of Officer Victor Decker

Jury may never know results of accused cop killer’s lie detector test

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