Forrest murder suspect will not face trial... for now - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Forrest murder suspect will not face trial... for now

Andrew Harris Andrew Harris
FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) -

A man now serving life in prison for the rape of a Forrest County woman, will not be put on trial for a rape and murder three years earlier.

Prosecutors say the Eva Gale Patterson case is being passed to the court's inactive file, meaning Andrew Harris won't be prosecuted. DNA evidence has implicated Harris in the rape and murder of Ms Patterson in Eatonville in 1979. Harris is now 61 years old and already serving a life sentence for the 1982 rape conviction.

Prosecutors say they made their decision after consulting the Patterson family, and they say it will keep the family from having go through 'the trauma of another trial.'  Prosecutors added that  if Harris ever does get out of prison, he will be prosecuted in the Patterson case. 

As you might recall, originally three men were convicted in the Patterson murder. But years later Phillip Bivens, Bobby Ray Dixon, and Larry Ruffin were cleared by DNA evidence.

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