Court to vacate convicted killer's sentence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (AP) - A Panhandle teacher and minister convicted in 1998 of murdering his wife seven years earlier could have his conviction thrown out and a new trial ordered because a key piece of forensic evidence has been disqualified.

Jimmy Ates of Baker was convicted, in part, because FBI tests showed lead in bullets that killed Norma Jean Ates matched lead in a box of bullets her husband owned. But the FBI determined in 2005 such testing wasn't accurate.

The Innocence Project says Ates would be the first person nationally to have his conviction vacated because of problems with the lead testing.

The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

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