Spaulding said the father of three had been denied a fair trial because the victim did not identify her father as her attacker in court. He also found that a jury instruction was improper, and limiting Lavigne to four character witnesses fatally harmed his case.
Meanwhile, Ayers said he plans to pursue other issues besides those Spaulding addressed when he overturned Lavigne's conviction -- the competence of Lavigne's daughter, who took the stand despite a psychologist's recommendation, and testimony at trial that was later determined to be false.
Ayers had presented Spaulding about 30 claims that Lavigne's constitutional rights to a fair trial and effective counsel were violated during a 2010 hearing.
On Monday, Lavigne met with Valena Beety, director of the West Virginia University Innocence Project.
"He has a great attorney now, if we were to get involved, our role would be to just assist anyway we can," she said. "It's a very compelling case."
Beety pointed out that the evidence at trial had been undermined during the 2010 hearing. She said she was perplexed that the Supreme Court had undermined Spaulding, who was shown all of the evidence.
The WVU Innocence Project is a new legal clinic affiliated with a national organization of criminal defense lawyers who help prisoners fight wrongful convictions.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.