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'77 murder conviction reinstated by appeals court

August 27, 2014
Associated Press

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has overturned a decision by a Van Buren County judge and reinstated the murder conviction of a man who has been in prison for nearly 40 years.

In 1977, Leo Terlisner was convicted of killing a business owner in Covert in southwestern Michigan under a felony murder doctrine that was abolished by the state Supreme Court in 1980.

Decades later, Terlisner's attorney successfully argued that his conviction should be thrown out. But the appeals court says the change in law three years after trial can't be applied retroactively.

The 3-0 decision was released Wednesday.

The 66-year-old Terlisner is serving a no-parole sentence at a prison in Muskegon Heights.



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