Man convicted in 1995 Newport News murder case granted chance to test evidence

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Newport News, Va. (WTKR) - A man convicted in a 1995 Newport News murder will now have the opportunity to have evidence used against him to be forensically tested.

Troy Ketchmore is currently serving a 43-year prison sentence related to the murder of Dexter Johnson in March 1995 on West Russell Court in Newport News.

Court proceedings at the time found that Johnson was shot in the head and killed by Ketchmore while sitting inside of Ketchmore's car.

However, during a motions hearing in Newport News Circuit Court Thursday, Ketchmore contended that evidence suggested Johnson had been shot at close-range, by someone who was also inside of the car.

Representing himself at the motions hearing, Ketchmore said he was outside of the car and wanted a hat that Johnson was wearing when he died as well as his hair tested for gunpowder residue.

That, Ketchmore argued, would show that Johnson was killed by a gunshot at close range.

The judge did not grant a motion ordering testing, however, he did enter a motion ordering any evidence left from the case be preserved for two years so that Ketchmore's family can have it forensically tested.

"We are delighted. We feel like we are at the beginning of the end so to speak. The beginning of my brother’s vindication and exoneration and the end of this miscarriage of justice that has been going on for 20 years," his sister Chanell Ketchmore told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo outside of court.

"I am rejoiced because today we came here for justice and truth and we are on our journey. We are on our way right now to getting that," his mother Pretina Ketchmore Pittman also commented.

Ketchmore's family says they are in the process of hiring a forensic specialist to test the evidence.

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