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Prosecutors in upcoming Liggins trial want testimony about prior sex abuse allowed

Motion hearings could take three days

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Prosecutors in the upcoming third trial of Stanley Liggins are trying to get the judge to allow testimony about his prior arrest and conviction for molesting a nine-year-old girl.

The arrest came one month before the rape and murder of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis.

This week, attorneys for the state and defense are arguing motions for the judge to decide what evidence and witnesses will be allowed this time around.

A woman named Debra Brown testified at Monday's hearing about her nine-year-old daughter, identified as "A.S."

She said after the little girl successfully testified against him in a sex abuse case and was convicted, Liggins yelled at her daughter as he was lead away.

"Stanley Liggins threatened to kill my daughter," Brown testified.

Prosecutors want the jury in the third trial to hear testimony about the case, which they say shows a pattern of sex abuse, and why Liggins would have killed Lewis after he allegedly raped her.

"A.S screamed and ran for help and was able to talk to police and identify him. On September 17 of 1990, Mr. Liggins wasn't going to let that happen again. So, rather than choose to attack the little girl near her own home and around her friends, he lured her away in his vehicle and murdered her. So that this little girl couldn't talk, " said Assistant Scott County Attorney Julie Walton.

Liggins has been convicted twice in Davenport and Dubuque, but the convictions were overturned by higher courts.

The motion hearings will resume Tuesday. A trial has been set for May.