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Judge grants Iowa inmate's request for DNA test in 1976 case

Iowa has never had an inmate exonerated by DNA evidence.
Credit: AP
This undated photo released by the Iowa Department of Corrections shows Gentric Hicks, an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa, Iowa. Lawyers for Hicks, 73, maintain that he was wrongly convicted of first-degree murder in 1977 and are seeking DNA testing on an orange hunting cap that the killer left at the crime scene. (Iowa Department of Corrections via AP)

FORT MADISON, Iowa — A judge has ordered DNA testing on a hat left at the scene of a fatal 1976 shooting that an Iowa inmate hopes will prove he has been wrongly imprisoned for decades. 

Judge John Wright ordered the hunting cap shipped to a Virginia laboratory for testing that could show whether Gentric Hicks or someone else was responsible for killing 28-year-old Jerry Foster at a Fort Madison motel. Scientists will seek to extract genetic material from inside the cap to create a DNA profile that could be compared to Hicks. 

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Results from the Bode Cellmark laboratory could be available in coming months. 

Iowa has never had an inmate exonerated by DNA evidence.