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Fri September 2, 2011
Court overturns conviction in 2000 Detroit slaying
DETROIT (AP) - Ten years later, a federal appeals court has overturned a murder conviction in Wayne County because jurors weren't told that the gunman had a history of mental illness.
The court on Friday says Reginald Walker's trial lawyer was ineffective. The court ordered Walker's release from a life sentence unless he's brought to trial again within six months.
There is no dispute that Walker fatally shot a man inside a Detroit liquor store in 2000 and then walked out. The victim was a complete stranger.
The 57-year-old Walker has a history of mental illness, but his defense was based on self-defense. The appeals court says the 2001 trial strategy was greatly contradicted by "every piece" of evidence. The court's decision was 2-1.