Court orders DNA test on inmate convicted in 1989

Feb 19, 2013 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- In a first for Wyoming, a court has ordered a post-conviction test of DNA.

District Judge Thomas Campbell issued the order in the 23-year-old case of Andrew Johnson.

Johnson was convicted of sexual assault and aggravated burglary in Laramie County in 1989 and was sentenced to life in prison.

Johnson maintains his innocence. Seminal fluid collected in the case has not been tested for DNA. Johnson could be exonerated if the sample excludes him.

According to the victim, Johnson broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her.

The Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, a nonprofit that seeks to correct or prevent wrongful convictions in Wyoming, Utah and Nevada, has taken Johnson's case. The center teamed up with Cheyenne attorney Aaron Lyttle, who filed the DNA motion under a 2008 law that allows for post-conviction DNA testing.

"Andrew's is the first case to actually get post-conviction DNA testing in Wyoming," said Liz Fasse, a center attorney.

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