Judge rejects new trial for Indiana man in murder-for-hire


MUNCIE, Ind. — A central Indiana judge has rejected a new trial for a man convicted in the 1993 murder-for-hire slaying of a woman found shot to death in her garage.

Jess David Woods was convicted in 2009 of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in Teresa French’s May 1993 killing and sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Woods was hired by the Muncie woman’s estranged husband to kill the 29-year-old mother of three, The Star Press reported.

In his bid for post-conviction relief, Woods and his attorney claimed authorities had not pursued evidence suggesting Anthony French could have fatally shot his wife.

Woods, 69, also said last year that his hearing problems had prevented him from understanding witness testimony at his 2009 trial.

But in a ruling released Thursday, Delaware County Judge Wolf said that Woods had “failed to prove how any of the alleged claims, even if true, individually or collectively would have changed the outcome of the trial.”

Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said Friday in a statement that “society is much safer given the fact that Woods will spend the rest of his natural life in prison.”

Anthony French, 60, was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in his wife’s death by a Delaware County jury in 2008 and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

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