17-year murder case in Palmdale remains unsolved

PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A nearly 17-year-old murder case in Palmdale remains unsolved, and the court Thursday was sifting through new evidence.

Raymond Jennings had proclaimed his innocence through three trials in the murder of Michelle O'Keefe.

"As Christ as my savior, this is one sin I will not be judged for," he said.

Jennings, who is free, was a security guard at the parking lot where 18-year-old Michelle O'Keefe was shot on Feb. 22, 2000.

The District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit found there were potential suspects at the Palmdale park-and-ride the night of the murder. The jury never heard about them, and there was no physical evidence linking Jennings to the crime.

Jennings hoped the judge would rule that he was wrongfully convicted. Instead, Jennings waits again.

The judge was reviewing every piece of evidence after a plea from Michelle O'Keefe's parents.

"Think about our daughter," said Michael O'Keefe, the victim's father. "Think about an innocent girl killed 17 years ago."

New evidence unsealed Thursday revealed there were others at the crime scene, including a John Doe later convicted for other felonies.

"That home invasion robbery and carjacking were committed with a 9mm handgun, the same kind of gun that was used to kill Michelle O'Keefe," explained defense attorney Jeffrey Ehrlich.

The prosecutor, Bobby Grace, said there was more evidence that remains under wraps and no new information points to Jennings.

Jennings remains confident the court will find him factually innocent, but for the O'Keefe's, there's no resolution to their daughter's murder.

"I hope that they find peace and I hope that this investigation leads to the conviction of the real perpetrator or perpetrators," shared Jennings.
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