SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – Paul Allen’s been in prison for more than two decades.
He is still professing his innocence despite a jury finding him guilty of murdering his wife Jill in 1996. Allen has had numerous appeals rejected by the courts. His latest effort received a spark of hope when the court of appeals ruled in his favor.
“I want to get this out to let everybody know this isn’t the way it happened,” said Allen during a phone conversation with ABC4.
24-years ago, authorities in Davis County found his wife, Jill’s lifeless body inside their apartment in North Salt Lake. Four years later, he was convicted of aggravated murder and sentenced to life in prison. His first chance of parole is scheduled for 2022.
To this day, Allen claimed he is innocent.
“It’s been hard for my family and there’s nothing more I want to do is to bring it forth to my wife’s family to let them know everything that they don’t know,” Allen said.
He claimed two men, Joseph Wright and George Anthony Taylor broke into his apartment and killed his wife.
The jury didn’t believe him as prosecutors laid out evidence that Allen hired the two men to murder Jill and collect a life insurance policy. The couple was going through a messy divorce.
Since his conviction, Allen’s appeals have been denied. But recently the court of appeals reversed a lower court’s ruling opening the door for a new trial.
“I feel good and since this (latest appeal) has been going for about like six years,” Allen said. “I’m just hoping we can get to a resolution and I can bring forth the evidence that has been filed with the court.”
His new evidence includes an affidavit from a possible witness who claimed Taylor lied about the gun used in the murder. Allen also contends that police coerced Taylor and Wright into blaming the murder on Allen.
He also has a detailed accounting of his spending which he claimed showed he never passed any money to the men. But these claims have yet to be presented in court as a judge in Davis County claimed the statute of limitations has passed. The court of appeals rejected the judge’s position and ordered a new hearing to see if Allen meets the criteria for a new trial.
But despite his claim of innocence Jill Allen’s family has always maintained he killed her.
“I do understand that,” said Allen. “That’s one thing that hurts so much and that’s the reason I have fought so hard because they’ve been brainwashed.”
Allen’s latest attorney suffered a stroke and no date has been set for future hearings.
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