Sept. 17, 1990
The body of Jennifer Lewis, 9, of Rock Island, is found near Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport by a school janitor around 9 p.m. Prosecutors would later say that she was strangled, sexually abused, wrapped in a plastic garbage bag, doused with gasoline and set on fire. The girl disappeared from her home around 6 p.m. that night.
Sept. 19, 1990
Stanley Carter Liggins, 28, is questioned in connection with Jennifer’s death. He is arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant out of Rock Island County and charged with possession of a controlled substance. (The charge is later dismissed.)
At the time of his arrest, he was free on bond in a Rock Island County case that alleged that he fondled a 9-year-old Milan girl one month before Jennifer was killed.
Sept. 24, 1990
Liggins is charged in Scott County with one count of first-degree murder in Jennifer’s death. Police say Jennifer was kidnapped in Rock Island and strangled in Davenport.
March 26, 1991
Liggins is found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Rock Island County Court in connection with the Milan girl.
May 10, 1991
Liggins is sentenced to the maximum sentence of seven years in prison in the Rock Island County sex abuse case. He later is sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting a Rock Island County Jail inmate.
July 8, 1992
Liggins, 31, makes his first court appearance in Scott County in Lewis' death. Additional charges of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree arson and willful arson are later added.
Feb. 19, 1993
Liggins is found guilty of first-degree murder, willful injury, first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree kidnapping following seven hours of jury deliberations over two days. A judge earlier in the trial dismissed the arson charge. He is sentenced the following month to life in prison.
Nov. 23, 1994
The Iowa Supreme Court overturns Liggins’ conviction, saying that jurors in the case improperly were allowed to hear evidence that Liggins sold cocaine. The court also noted that prosecutors failed to prove that the assault, kidnapping and sexual abuse occurred in Iowa.
June 28, 1995
Judge James Kelley orders that Liggins’ retrial be moved to Dubuque County because he believes an impartial jury could not be selected in the Quad-Cities given the publicity surrounding the case.
July 25, 1995
Liggins is convicted of first-degree murder in Dubuque County. The following month, he is again sentenced to life in prison.
Dec. 18, 1996
Iowa Supreme Court upholds Liggins’ second conviction.
Nov. 6, 2013
The Iowa Court of Appeals reverses Liggins’ second conviction and orders him to be retried a third time. The court rules that 77 police reports were not provided to Liggins' defense team and that prosecutors did not disclose that a key witness was a paid police informant. The Iowa Supreme Court declines to hear the case.
Aug. 28, 2018
Jury selection begins in Liggins' third trial in Black Hawk County. Judge Marlita Greve moved the trial due to pretrial publicity.