Lawyer: DNA evidence links Oregon inmate to 1976 murder

Cathy Woods was granted a new trial in the case

DNA and the scales of justice (MGN Online, file)
DNA and the scales of justice (MGN Online, file)

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A lawyer says DNA evidence has tied an Oregon prison inmate to the 1976 slaying of a college student in Nevada as well as two other killings in Northern California.

Public defender Maizie Pusich said during a hearing Monday that DNA on a cigarette butt in a Reno garage where the body of 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell was found in 1976 matches that of an inmate currently serving prison sentences in Oregon for attempted murder.

Pusich represents 64-year-old Cathy Woods, who was convicted of killing Mitchell on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, and has spent more than 30 years in prison.

Woods was granted a new trial in the case after the DNA evidence was presented during the hearing on Monday.

Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan also ordered the release of Woods on her own recognizance.

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