March 23, 2023

An inmate who spent ten years in prison for his uncle’s murder seeks a new trial after another man confesses to the crime on his deathbed.

Daniel Ames, 49, launched the offer through the South Australian Court of Appeal in light of a confession by convicted drug dealer Peter Lagerwey.

Ames was convicted in 2011 of shooting his uncle Allen Ames, 68, at his workshop in north Adelaide in 2009.

Daniel Ames (pictured) wants a new trial in light of his uncle’s 2016 murder for which he was convicted, but has always maintained his innocence

Allen Ames, 68, (pictured) was shot in the face in 2009 in his workshop in north Adelaide

The appeals court heard that Detective Rod Huppatz had testified about Lagerwey’s role in the incident, but had not disclosed it to Ames’ lawyers until 2021.

Lagerwey allegedly admitted to killing Allen Ames while on his deathbed in 2016, before dying two days later.

“I was the one who shot Danny’s uncle… I’m the one who killed his uncle,” Lagerwey is said to have told his partner.

The boyfriend of convicted drug dealer Craig Peterson said he was in the hospital when he heard the confession.

“Peter told me about his involvement in the murder and said he killed Allan Ames,” Peterson told the court.

Ames, 68, was shot in the face in his workshop, but the weapon was never found.

His cousin was convicted of the crime two years later, where Justice David Peek said the case against him was “cohesive and overwhelming.”

Ames was sentenced to life with a 24-year non-parole period, despite having no motive for the crime.

He has always maintained his innocence.

He admitted to visiting his uncle the night he was murdered to discuss family issues, but left 20-25 minutes later.

Ames said his uncle had called to ask him to come to his workshop to discuss a family quarrel involving his grandmother, the court heard.

He claimed to have hung out with Lagerwey earlier that day and described him as more of a social acquaintance than a friend.

Ames said he showered and changed his clothes before and after seeing the murder victim because of his new tattoo and the condition of his uncle’s barn.

“I had been in a filthy workshop, I wouldn’t jump into bed without taking a shower,” he told the court.

He said he had missed three calls from Lagerwey that day and that when he called back the dealer was silent and vague on the phone.

Ames’ counsel said he did not want the Court of Appeals to acquit him of the murder, but that he wants a new trial over the evidence of Lagerwey’s confession.

Meanwhile, Mr Peterson said he had taken Lagerwey’s claims to several lawyers in Adelaide to seek legal advice but was not satisfied with their replies.

The workshop (pictured) where Allen Ames died after being shot in the head in 2009