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Retrial Brings Conviction In Md. Officer’s Slaying

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EASTON, Md. (AP) — The retrial of a man convicted of murdering a Hagerstown police officer has produced the same verdict as in 1976: guilty of first-degree felony murder.

Talbot County Circuit Judge Broughton Earnest announced his verdict Tuesday in the retrial of 63-year-old Merle Unger Jr.

Earnest also found Unger guilty of armed robbery and a handgun offense in the 1975 slaying of Donald Kline.

Both the original trial and the retrial were held in Easton.

Unger killed Kline in a shootout after the off-duty officer interrupted a grocery store holdup in December 1975.

The Maryland Court of Appeals granted Unger a new trial because the judge in his original trial gave improper jury instructions.

No sentencing date was set. Unger has been serving a sentence of life plus 40 years.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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