Apr 3, 2014 7:03 AM by AP
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - An appeals court threw out a manslaughter conviction against a man accused of literally scaring a woman to death when she had a heart attack after returning home to a burglary in progress.
The state 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal also went a step further and acquitted Willie James Robertson in the 1999 death of 86-year-old Irene Schoofs. That means prosecutors cannot bring him back to trial if the appeals decision is not successfully challenged by prosecutors.
Robertson was indicted on a second-degree murder charge in 2012 after cold-case investigators linked him to fingerprints collected more than a decade earlier at Schoofs' home.
A three-judge appeals panel ruled Wednesday that the fingerprints were not enough to support the manslaughter conviction.