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Third Circuit reverses jury verdict in Ville Platte shooting

Justice
Posted at 2:29 PM, Dec 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 15:29:00-05

The Third Circuit Court of Appeal has reversed a jury's verdict in the April 2017 slaying of Kathy Weston.

Weston, 46, died when someone opened fire while she was walking to a store.

In October, a jury found Robert Marquez Wilson guilty of manslaughter in the case; he had been indicted on a charge of second-degree murder. His indictment came after his brother had been held in jail, accused of the slaying, for almost a year.

The appeal court reversed the conviction, lifted Wilson's 20-year prison sentence, and sent the case back to Evangeline Parish to be re-tried. The District Attorney has told the VIlle Platte Gazette he plans to appeal that decision to the state Supreme Court.

In their ruling, the Third CIrcuit judges wrote that the trial court made a mistake when he allowed the statements of two witnesses to be heard by the jury. Both witnesses refused to testify at trial, and allowing their statements - which didn't give the defendant a chance to cross-examine the witnesses - was a violation of the U.S. Constitution, the court ruled.

The defendant's attorneys also argued that the jury's decision to believe the theory of the case presented by the state wasn't reasonable, but the court didn't agree with that argument.

To read our storis about this incident, click here, click here and click here.