Judge denies family's request for DNA testing in attempt to exonerate man executed years ago

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Monday morning, a Shelby County Court found the estate of Sedley Alley does not have standing to file a petition for DNA analysis.

Related: Family of man executed for Marine's brutal 1985 rape, murder seeks DNA testing of evidence

Alley was executed by the State of Tennessee in 2006 for the brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Suzanne Marie Collins, a lance corporal stationed at Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington.

Since his execution, there has been a fight to prove his innocence.

Lawyers for Alley's estate requested an order of preserving evidence, but the request was denied.

Alley confessed to the murder, but later said he had no recollection of the crime.

Attorneys representing Sedley Alley's estate spoke with FOX13 after learning of the disappointing ruling.

"The truth cannot be buried with Sedley Alley if indeed the DNA will provide that truth then you should allow testing. Because it could very well mean they is a killer loose in the community," Attorney William Massey said.

Attorneys representing his estate said Alley's conviction came under a flawed process of examining DNA.

"Given the rest of Tennessee code we think we have firm legal standing. The court got it wrong today," Attorney Jossie Holland said.

In a very brief hearing, the judge stated Alley's estate does not have any standing in this matter.

Lawyers for estate requested an order to preserve the evidence which the judge granted.

Attorneys told FOX13 they plan to appeal the judge's ruling.

"Mr. Alley's daughter April should have some closure as well and know the truth," Massey said.

Attorneys also said if the DNA testing is allowed into the case Alley could become the first person to be exonerated posthumously in Tennessee.

"They are rare, but they have happened in other states. They have happened in Florida, they have happened in Texas and that is what we are really hoping for here," Massey said.

Attorneys representing Alley's estate say the appeal process could take as long as six months.

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