The man accused of killing a Houston High School graduate 27 years ago – and who was recently convicted – will appear before a judge Friday to hear whether he’ll have a new trial or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Donald Nash, 67, was convicted in October of killing his then girlfriend, Judy Spencer. Since that time, his attorney, Frank Carlsen of Union, has filed paperwork seeking a new trial after he learned about another potential suspect in the case that left Spencer strangled and shot.

Carlsen, who said a fingerprint of another man had been found on Spencer’s car after the murder, presented that information to retired Circuit Court Judge Douglas Long at the trial out of the presence of a jury that was deliberating. Long refused to allow the testimony.

Based on that, Carlsen says his client desires a new trial. Long will take up the motion. If it is denied, Nash will be sentenced to life in prison, which was the recommendation of a Crawford County jury who heard the case in Phelps County. An assistant attorney general did not request the death penalty.

Nash’s arrest came after improvements in DNA technology, which linked him to Spencer’s death.

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