Appeals court overturns Shelby County murder conviction

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the conviction of a man found guilty of a December 2009 murder in Shelby County.

In a decision released Friday, the appeals court ruled Eric Williams must receive a new trial in the fatal shooting of William Frank Yancey. A jury convicted Williams of first-degree murder, and he received a life sentence.

The appeals court ruled that the trial court erred by prohibiting Williams’ lawyer from cross-examining state witnesses about his stating after the shooting that he did not intend to shoot the victim. The appeals court also ruled the jury should not have been allowed to handle a shotgun that was not the murder weapon.

The appeals court concluded that “the cumulative effect of the errors warrants reversal” of the conviction.

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