orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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March 20, 2013

Appeals court wants another look at Austin slaying

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal appeals court is agreeing with attorneys for one of Austin's most notorious killers that his claim of improperly withheld evidence in his case should be reviewed.

The Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/11kq0tc) reported Wednesday the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wants to further investigate arguments from lawyers for Colton Pitonyak that his friend and jealous lover, Laura Hall, killed 21-year-old Jennifer Cave in 2005. The appeal contends prosecutors improperly withheld Hall's confession.

Cave's dismembered and mutilated body was found in the bath tub at Pitonyak's Austin apartment.

He's serving a 55-year prison sentence. Hall is serving 10 years for tampering with evidence and hindering apprehension.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg says her office stands behind the conviction but has allowed for additional DNA testing in the case.

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