Help free Daniel Risher and Nikki Zinger along with the Innocence Project. 

Twenty-one years ago, my cousin Daniel Wayne Risher and his girlfriend of several years Nikki Sue Zinger, were both sentenced to life in prison on first degree murder charges. Nikki’s mother, Linda Holley, was brutally murdered (stabbed and beaten) in her home in Magnolia, Arkansas (March 10, 1991). The two were arrested on April 18, 1991 after they put the police at the scene of the crime. Until then they were not even suspects.  They were charged and wrongfully convicted from false evidence.

Daniel was a hunter, and his hunting jacket was used in court as evidence against Daniel and Nikki stating there was blood on the jacket, however, it never had DNA testing done on it to prove whether or not it was human blood. The jacket amongst other items were pulled from the closet of Daniel Risher’s home via a search warrant on April 18th or nearly (39) days after the body was found.

The murder scene was never secured right away and people were allowed to come and go. Nikki Zinger was released to get her things for the funeral of her mother on March 16th. It was after this time the police took up evidence.

A neighbor said he had seen a police car at the home and a man in the yard the day of the murder, but during the trial, the trial lawyers were restricted from asking whether a police car was seen that night and could only ask if one was seen that week. We do know that Linda Holley was dating a police officer at the time.  We also know 2 other murders were committed just like this one, in areas not too far away from Magnolia, but the person guilty of those murders was never considered as a suspect in this one.

Seven years ago (2005), the Innocence Project accepted Daniel’s case and has been representing him. The Innocence Project provides pro bono legal representation on behalf of people seeking to prove their innocence post-conviction. Since its inception in 1992, the Innocence Project has only taken cases where DNA testing can prove innocence.

In January 2011, Daniel W. Risher was represented by Innocence Projects’ staff attorney Craig Cooley from NYC who appeared before Judge Larry Chandler in Circuit Court. It was then requested that certain evidence be allowed to have DNA testing which was granted. It was proven through the DNA testing on the hunting jacket, that there was “no human blood” on any of the state’s evidence that convicted the two. However, the Innocence Projects’ representation is limited in scope to DNA and not on false evidence.

It was determined that “luminol” was used to support the two’s supposedly “staged burglary and clean-up theory” to collect on a $90,000 life insurance policy. (“Luminol is a substance which can react with blood that is invisible to the naked eye.”) It has since been discovered that the way the luminol test was done, by using a hair dryer, creates false evidence. It is proven and stated in the legal documentation via the FBI Crime Lab Report that “luminol remains a preliminary blood screening test which is insufficient to conclusively established the presence of blood.” It is also not Federal Protocol as stated in an affidavit. According to Herbert Leon MacDonnell from Independent Forensic Labratory, “Luminol testing is not accepted as a positive test for blood.” “Luminol testing is merely presumptive because Luminol reacts with substances other than blood.”

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Daniel need to hire a lawyer who wants to argue the false evidence case. Additionally, argue regarding the judgment sentencing Daniel and Nikki to life in prison was dated January 13, 1992, however, it was actually (5) days later before the jury gave a verdict on Jan.17th, 1992 per a notarized court document stating so. Also, suppression of witnesses and statements, private communications going on between the Judge and jury which are not allowed and not on record, reported fraud on the court that missing trial transcripts were certified as missing, and checked out by the prosecuting attorney. In addition, a photo was not made present to the jury in which significantly differs from another taken by the crime photographer.

Based on false testimony by a Criminologist regarding the luminol, and since it was not corrected, it violated the Defendants’ right to due process and impaired the jury’s judgement. According to legal documents, the  5th, 6th, 9th and 14th amendments were violated, and the crime photographer never testified.

Currently the Innocence Project says “the prosecutor is delaying the case by not releasing the full listing of the evidence.” Funds are needed to help investigate and present the case fully to show their innocence and get them exonerated even though the DNA testing proved in their favor.

I have set up this website: to plead their case and raise funds to help free them from prison. This site will be updated as things progress. An innocent person should never have to spend one day in prison, much less two people for over 20 years. We will not stop until Justice is served! Please help with any donation you can afford by clicking on the donation button below. Pay Pal is provided for your convenience and safety.


Thank you and God Bless,

Sherry K. Scales

*If you would like to correspond with Daniel W. Risher, I have also set up an email account for him that I can “print and mail” to him. Email: [email protected] or you may mail letters directly to:

(Please Note: This Address Is For Correspondence Only)

Daniel W. Risher

Sorry at this time they have moved Daniel to a Prison with a hospital. He is suffering from a liver disease and is needing medical attention.  You may contact me, and I will see it is forwarded to him.



Contact: Sherry K. Scales for more information including;

all case legal documentation, photo(s), more facts and other important contact info.

Tel: (512) 925-8928

Email: [email protected]