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Former Lead Investigator Gives Jens Soering Hope for Release

(NBC29, October 28, 2016, Link)

Video on youtube

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A former lead investigator with the Bedford County Sheriff's Office is giving Jens Soering and his attorney new hope that he may eventually get out of lock up.

The former University of Virginia and German scholarship student is serving a life sentence for the 1985 murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom, the parents of his then-girlfriend Elizabeth. Soering confessed to the double murders in an effort to shield his girlfriend from the death penalty and is currently serving two life sentences.

In a 2011 interview with NBC29, Soering says his confession was false.

Former Bedford County Sheriff's Office investigator says Soering was never at that crime scene and points to DNA evidence, the original FBI assessment of the crime scene, and what he says is simple common sense.

"I started hearing the testimony from Elizabeth, from Jens, and the evidence that was presented and that's when I started getting my doubts. I said, ‘Something not adding up here,’” Reid said.

Reid points to a 1985 letter from the commonwealth attorney's office.

“During the investigation, it stated that the suspect was female and knew the victim,” Reid stated.

A special agent with the FBI trained in compiling suspect profiles made that conclusion.

A 1985 article in the Lynchburg News Advance confirms the FBI was called in to put together this personality profile, contrary to the denials of several other lead investigators.

Soering and his attorney Steve Rosenfield submitted a petition for pardon from Governor Terry McAuliffe back in August.

On the phone from the Buckingham Correctional Center, Soering says he is grateful for Reid’s help.

“Chuck Reid gives me hope,” Soering said.

Soering and Rosenfield plan to file an additional record to aid in the governor's investigation.

"So we have, in essence, a reporter from that era who remembers this very serious case very well,” said Rosenfield.

Reid also stresses differences between a 2009 post-conviction serology report and the one taken from the 1985 crime scene.

"Let's go back to that O-Type blood that supposedly was part of what convicted Jens to begin with. It's recently been proven by DNA that that is not his,” Reid said.

In August, attorneys for Soering revealed DNA findings which they say remove Soering from the 1985 crime scene and prove his innocence. They say a comparison between the 1985 serology report and a more recent 2009 DNA review shows Soering's blood is nowhere to be found.

Many of the blood samples have degraded over the last 30 years, but 11 items from the 1985 serology evaluation were left to be tested. Two were Type O blood. Soering was Type O, but the DNA scientist reports that Soering was eliminated as a contributor.

Soering calls Reid a man of courage.

"Chuck Reid shows me that it's possible, even when there's all the pressure in the world to keep quiet and go along, that some people still have the courage to stand up and do what they think is right,” Soering said.

“If you can prove that someone is innocent, I don't care if it's 50 years down the road, then the process has got to work,” Reid said.

The Virginia Film Festival will be screening a documentary called "The Promise" on the inner workings of this case. Reid, Rosenfield, and Soering are featured in the film. The showing on Saturday, November 5, is currently sold out.

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