Emerson Stevens of Lancaster who was convicted of the 1985 murder of
Mary Keyser Harding has recently been granted parole.
Stevens was convicted in 1986, and was sentenced to 169 years in prison
and is expected to be released on or after May 18th and has been held at the
Greenville Correctional Center. He is to be released to another locality.
The newly found evidence was reportedly discovered last year in a
box of materials related to the investigation at the Lancaster County
Sheriff’s Office, which was never turned over to Stevens’ defense counsel.
Emerson Stevens release comes after the Innocence Project of the University
of Virginia School of Law, filed a motion last December, for habeas corpus,
claiming unlawful detention.
After Harding’s body was discovered near Belle Isle Marsh, off the
Rappahannock River, Stevens was convicted of her murder, and sentenced
to prison. He has maintained his innocence however, for the past three