Attorneys want new trial for man on death row

Oscar Ray Bolin is back to a familiar place--a Hillsborough County courtroom.


The death row inmate has been convicted of killing three women in the late 1980's.


Now a recent investigation by the Office of the Inspector General is giving him hope of a new trial.


The bombshell IG report showed 13 FBI agents in the federal crime lab were involved in falsifying evidence and lying under oath.


One of those agents was Michael Malone.  Malone was in charge of the evidence in the Bolin case.

Malone linked black fibers to all three murders Bolin was later convicted of.


Thursday in court retired special FBI agent Fred Whitehurst said he has been blowing the whistle on a culture of corruption in the FBI forensic lab for 20 years. He testified that Malone's evidence and analysis should not be trusted, "it is unreliable".


Later, Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober took the stand. He defended Bolin during one of his murder trials.


He was asked about a note found in one of the murder victim's purse. The note had the name "Ray" written on it and a partial license plate number that was linked to Oscar Ray Bolin. Ober said he checked the purse back then and never saw the note.


Bolin's attorney suggested to Ober the possibility the note could have been planted by someone years later. Ober said in the universe of explanations that it was possible.


The judge wants written arguments from both sides and is expected to make a ruling in the next couple of months.