Texas Court grants appeal after 35 years without conviction - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Texas Court grants appeal after 35 years without conviction

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DALLAS (AP) - A Texas appellate court says an inmate imprisoned for more than 35 years after his murder conviction was overturned should go free.

The court on Thursday dismissed the conviction of 60-year-old Jerry Hartfield. The ruling said Hartfield went through "a criminal justice nightmare" after the state failed to retry him for decades.

Hartfield's 1980 conviction in the killing of a Bay City woman was dismissed on appeal. In 1983, Gov. Mark White commuted his death sentence to life, but courts found the sentence had already been overturned. Hartfield was then found guilty after a 2015 retrial and sentenced to life in prison.

It wasn't immediately clear when or if Hartfield could be released. One of his attorneys, Jeff Newberry, says he's requested a call with Hartfield and wasn't sure if he knew about Thursday's ruling.

This story has been corrected to show the inmate's last name is Hartfield, not Hartsfield.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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