Man serving life for killing daughter appeals case
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A Rock Hill man serving a life sentence for raping and killing his 12-year-old daughter is asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to throw out his conviction.
Lawyers for Billy Wayne Cope say prosecutors used a false confession coerced out of him after telling him he failed a lie detector test about the death of his daughter, who was found dead in her room in 2001.
Prosecutors say Cope asked for the test, then confessed three times, even staging the crime scene for investigators before claiming he made up the confession.
DNA from a second man, James Sanders, was found on the girl's body. He's also serving a life sentence after being convicted at the same trial as Cope in 2004.
Cope's lawyers told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday that a jury should have heard co-defendant James Sanders' statements that he entered and exited the child's home through a window. They say those statements show that it was unlikely that the pair had teamed up to commit the crimes in 2001.