By Robert Marin
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
10:43 AM CDT, September 30, 2011
(DODGE CITY, Kan.)
The Kansas Supreme Court orders a new trial for a former Dodge City Police Officer convicted of murder, saying jurors should have been allowed to consider lesser charges.
Christopher Tahah was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Erin Jones, the night of the Greensburg tornado. Her body was found the morning of May 5.
During testimony, Tahah said he had been drinking that night and aimed a rifle at Jones from her backyard when he says it accidentally discharged. He was charged and convicted of first-degree felony murder in 2008 and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 20 years.
On appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in a 6-1 decision that jurors should have been allowed to consider lesser offenses of second-degree reckless murder or involuntary manslaughter.
In a dissenting opinion Justice Eric S. Rosen said there was "no evidence, when viewed in the light most favorable to Tahah, on which a reasonable jury could convict Tahah of either of the requested lesser included instructions beyond a reasonable doubt".
Click on the related link to read the full opinion of the court. No date has been set for a new trial for Tahah.
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