INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - The attorney for one of Indiana's most notorious criminals, convicted of two murders, is asking for her to be let out of prison immediately. 34-year-old Sarah Pender gained national notoriety on America's Most Wanted when she broke out of the Rockville Correctional Facility in 2008. She was on the run for more than four months before a phone call tipped police she was hiding out and working in Chicago.
I-Team 8 obtained a copy of the 41-page document sent to the Marion County prosecutor's office asking for "a modification of her convictions and immediate release from prison."
It is the first step in trying to overturn her 110-year sentence. Pender's attorney, Cara Weinke, wrote that Pender "believes that had the information that has since come to light been shared with the jury, she would not have been convicted of any offense other than Class C felony assisting a criminal. She has served three times as many years as the maximum sentence for a Class C felony."
Pender and her boyfriend, Richard Hull, were convicted of murdering their two roommates in a home south of downtown Indianapolis in 2000 over a drug deal.
Pender has maintained her innocence. Since the trial, Hull, who was a Noblesville High School football player, has admitted he pulled the trigger and Pender knew nothing of the killings.
In the document, Pender's attorney, Cara Wieneke, details new evidence in the case. It's the same evidence that has prompted the prosecutor who put Pender behind bars to push for her to get a new trial.
In 2009, former prosecutor Larry Sells became aware of a "snitch list" in a former Indianapolis homicide detective's files and has now stepped forward.
The main witness, Floyd Pennington, alleged Pender confessed to him that she got Hull to pull the trigger. Sells says that "snitch list" was never given to the defense and now calls into question the character and integrity of Pennington's testimony. He received a lesser sentence just two weeks after presenting the testimony.
Wieneke also points to other evidence never presented to the jury, such as a time card showing Pender was at work by 8:09 a.m. the day after the murders. A neighbor testified she saw Pender at 8:35 a.m. after she put her kids on the bus. She said Pender was smiling and waving. Prosecutors used that as evidence she had no remorse for the killings the night before. However, Pender's attorney never admitted the evidence that showed she was at work and was not at the scene helping to clean up.
Also detailed in the document for her release is an alleged confession letter allegedly written by Pender to Hull. Hull later testified he had a cell mate write the letter to "get a better deal" on the eve of his sentencing. Pender's prints were not found on the letter.
Wieneke says, "Sarah is first seeking a modification of her convictions and immediate release from prison."
I-Team 8 spoke to Clarke Campbell in the Marion County Prosecutor's office Thursday afternoon.
"We will give it consideration," Campbell said. "The timeline, I don't know, and what the ultimate response, I don't know."
He said it will take at least a few weeks.
Tonight at 11: Hear from the former prosecutor who says Pender did not get a fair trial. Hear from Pender in her only TV interview on 24-Hour News 8.
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