SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) — A Maryland appeals court has overturned the murder conviction of an Eastern Shore man because of flawed jury instructions.
James Edward Ballard, of Pocomoke City, was convicted of second-degree-murder in the September 2010 fatal stabbing of Russell Matthew Bailey III, 18.
Ballard argued that he had been acting in self-defense when he stabbed Bailey.
His lawyer urged the judge to give jurors a specific self-defense instruction, but the request was denied and Ballard was convicted.
The Daily Times of Salisbury reports that the Maryland Court of Special Appeals sided with Ballard’s public defender and reversed his conviction, sending the case back for a new trial.
Worcester County prosecutors plan to retry the case.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)