TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court says an
appellate court failed to evaluate the prejudicial effect of a gun
and other unrelated evidence before affirming a murder conviction.
The 5-2 ruling on Thursday sends the case back to the 4th
District Court of Appeal to consider whether that mistake was
enough to overturn the conviction.
The appellate court upheld the first-degree murder conviction in
Palm Beach County of Nicholas Agatheas for the 2000 shooting death
of Thomas Villano. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The majority justices also found the 4th District failed to
properly apply the law by holding that Agatheas' 45-caliber
revolver was relevant to the case.
Villano was shot with a 38-caliber gun. The murder weapon never
Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Ricky Polston
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)