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Convicted Killer Seeks New Trial In 1977 Slaying

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(AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice, File)

(AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice, File)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man convicted in the 1977 death of a hitchhiker is asking for a new trial because of the judge’s instructions to the jury.

A lawyer for William Clyde Conley, 61, argued Monday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that the jury was given unconstitutional instructions at his trial.

The Capital of Annapolis reports that Conley was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Dawn Burkman, who died of injuries after she jumped from a moving car when Conley picked her up.

Conley’s lawyer said the Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled that some judge’s instructions must be binding. The lawyer argued that the judge described instructions to the jury as advisory.

Judge Paul A. Hackner took the arguments under advisement.

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

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