Prosecutors’ use of gruesome photos leads to new trial

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A man who was found guilty of being responsible for an alcohol-fueled hit-and-run crash has been granted a new trial because prosecutors used gruesome photos of a fetus that was killed in the crash.

Multiple media outlets report that the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals released an opinion Tuesday to award 26-year-old driver Curtis Scott Harper a new trial in the May 30, 2012 crash that killed three people on the side of the road.

The court ruled that now-retired Knox County Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz was wrong to allow the display of the trial’s most gruesome photographs because the images were unnecessary in determining whether Harper was speeding, drunk or both.

Harper had been sentenced to 30 years on three counts of vehicular homicide and related charges.