New Prosecution

Trial to begin in 30-year-old murder case

Jury selection is to begin today in Hamilton for the trial of an Indiana prison inmate for the murder 30 years ago of a retired school principal. Fifty-nine-year-old Donald Korn once confessed to the 1974 slaying of 72-year-old Mildred Ruth Doench, who was raped, stabbed and struck with a hatchet-type tool left embedded in her forehead. But an appeals court overturned the conviction in 1979, saying Korn's confession was improperly obtained. Now the prosecution has new D-N-A evidence with which it hopes to convict Korn again.

If Korn is convicted, he can't face the death penalty, because the capital-punishment law in effect at the time of the crime was found to be unconstitutional. The maximum possible sentence is life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Korn has been in prison in Indiana since 1976, when he was given a sentence of 25 years to life for rape and attempted murder in another case.