$500,000 bond for Paul House, but still in prison

$500,000 bond for Paul House, but still in prison

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6 News spoke with Paul House, who still maintains his innocence. 6 News spoke with Paul House, who still maintains his innocence.

MAYNARDVILLE (WATE/AP) -- Judge Shayne Sexton granted a $500,000 bond Friday for Paul House, who has spent almost 23 years on Tennessee's death row.

Prosecutors were seeking a $750,000 bond for House, but his defense attorneys contested that amount, saying he isn't a danger to the community or a flight risk.

House has advanced multiple sclerosis and must use a wheelchair. He was brought from a special needs prison in Nashville for the hearing Friday and that is where he'll be kept in custody.

6 News spoke with House, who still maintains his innocence. 

House's mother, Joyce House, says she'll try to meet the bond, but it's not likely to happen soon. "I try to give him hope and I have hope," Joyce said.

House is due back in court in Union County for a bond reduction hearing on June 27 at the request of his attorneys.

If he is eventually released on bond, he would be kept under house arrest, as well as being required to wear an electronic monitoring device and register in Tennessee as a sex offender. 

House has been on death row since 1986 for the slaying of Carolyn Muncey, a young mother in Union County.

At the time of the murder, House was on parole for raping two women at knife point in separate incidents in Utah.

But in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded House would not have been convicted based on evidence that emerged years after his trial.

In court Friday, defense attorney Dale Potter argued this point before the judge, saying, "He is presumed innocent because he had a constitutionally defective trial the first time around."

House's mother agrees. "Even the Supreme Court said that no jury in this country would have found him guilty if they had heard all the evidence."  

That evidence included DNA test results showing blood on Carolyn Muncey's nightgown belonged to her husband, not Paul House, and that blood found on House's blue jeans didn't come from the crime scene.

However, a juror from House's original murder trial attended the bail hearing Friday and told 6 News she stands by her guilty verdict.

Jury selection for the new trial will begin on October 14. The trial is expected to take about a week.

District Attorney Paul Phillips is now seeking life without parole instead of the death sentence.

The House family and the Muncey family, including Carolyn Muncey's daughter, attended the bail hearing Friday.

6 News Reporter Hana Kim contributed to this report. Some portions of this report copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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