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Court turns down appeal in murder plot case

•  National News     updated  2011/04/18 09:37


The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal in a murder-for-hire plot after the star prosecution witness forged documents used at trial and lied about his military background.

The court said Monday it will not review a divided appeals court ruling that, by a 6-5 vote, upheld the conviction of Idaho businessman David Hinkson for plotting to kill a federal judge, prosecutor and tax agent. Hinkson is serving a 43-year prison term.

Earlier, a three-judge panel on the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had decided that Hinkson deserved a new trial because the witness, Elven Joe Swisher, lied about his war record, including presenting forged documents.

Swisher later was convicted of defrauding the government of nearly $100,000 in veterans' benefits and wearing unauthorized military medals.




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