Sheriff supports freedom bid for Jens Soering convicted of 1985 double murder

Albemarle County Sheriff J.E. “Chip” Harding is supporting a bid for freedom for Jens Soering, a German national convicted of the 1985 murders of his girlfriend’s parents in Bedford County.

And a new report from an expert requested by Soering’s lawyer questions the work done by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science in 2009, which subjected evidence recovered from the bloody crime scene to DNA testing not available at the time of the murders.

In a case that has generated national and international attention for decades — recently a German film and an American book — Soering has a pardon request pending before Gov. Terry McAuliffe based in part on the DNA test results.

Reached by telephone Tuesday, Harding said, “I would hope (McAuliffe) would at least consider a conditional pardon and let him go back to Germany.”

In his 19-page letter to McAuliffe, Harding said that after spending 200 hours as a volunteer

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