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Federal court reverses man's murder conviction

•  National News     updated  2013/09/30 15:20


A federal court has reversed a Southern California man's conviction in the bludgeoning death of his wife.

The Orange County Register reports that a three-judge panel for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that 75-year-old Marvin Vernis Smith didn't receive a fair trial.

A jury found Smith guilty of murdering his wife 66-year-old Minnie Smith in 2007. She was found dead in their Cypress home, bludgeoned to death in the head and face with a metal fireplace log roller on Dec. 15, 2005.

The court ruled that a jury instruction violated Smith's right to receive proper notice of charges against him and prepare a defense.

The district attorney's office will request that the state attorney general ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.



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