Man convicted of double murder in 1983, gets a new trial as evidence might not put him at the scene of the crime

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:11 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A Rapid City man convicted of a double murder in 1983 has been granted a new trial. George Luna is serving two life sentences after his wife and mother-in-law were found dead in their home.

New DNA testing suggested that hair found in the hand of Lynn Luna could not possibly be George Luna’s, but it could match DNA from a family member of Lynn.

“What was so significant about the case is that in that case there was a lot of evidence that suggested that somebody else besides George committed the murders,” said John Murphy, a private practice criminal defense attorney. “At trial the judge refused to allow him to present evidence that implicated Doug Thomas. The case went up to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court affirmed that. Doug was Lynn Luna’s brother and Helen Thomas’ son.”

According to Murphy, the court said that because Luna would not be able to show any evidence that Thomas was in the house where the bodies were found, the court would not allow Luna to present any evidence about Thomas. Murphy continued saying that there were some suspicious things about Thomas that weren’t looked into at the time.

In 2016, Luna started asking for evidence to be reviewed and any DNA evidence to be tested.

Luna is still working with the courts to set a future date for a new jury trial.