LOUISVILLE, KY. (AP) - A man serving 52 years in a 1998 western Kentucky shooting death has been ordered freed or granted a new trial after a federal appeals court ruled that his attorney had a conflict of interest because he was defending another suspect in the case.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday gave prosecutors 180 days to retry 31-year-old Treon McElrath on charges of murder and wanton endangerment or free him from prison.
McElrath was convicted in 1999 with his cousin, Terrance Boykin, and a friend, Andre Everett of taking part in the murder of Natasha Wilson in Clinton in far western Kentucky. Boykin and Everett were arrested in Union City, Tenn., 35 minutes after the shooting.
The unanimous three-judge panel ruled that the attorney representing both McElrath and Boykin at trial had a conflict of interest.