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Minnesota lawyers take up appeals for five men convicted in Monfils murder

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Minnesota Innocence Project and a Minneapolis law firm are digging for legal flaws that could free five men convicted of killing a co-worker in Green Bay 21 years ago.

The five were convicted of killing Tom Monfils in 1992 at what was then the James River paper mill.

Monday night, almost four dozen people took part in an annual walk and rally for the defendants.

Emcee Denis Gullickson told them that two Minneapolis attorneys are examining the case for free -- and so is Minnesota's equivalent of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, that has freed a number of high-profile inmates who were wrongly convicted.

The 35-year-old Monfils was found in a pulp vat, killed by co-workers reportedly upset that he went to police when one of the defendants stole scrap wire.

Michael Piaskowski was freed by a federal court 12 years ago.

The other five have been trying unsuccessfully to get paroled -- Keith Kutska, Michael Johnson, Dale Basten, Reymond Moore, and Michael Hirn.