Death Row Retrial

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A jury has acquitted a man who was granted a retrial after spending more than 15 years on Tennessee's death row in the fatal shooting of a Chattanooga pharmacist in 1985.

Jurors agreed with defense attorneys who said 55-year-old Michael Lee McCormick was lying when police secretly recorded his confession.

McCormick was convicted in 1987 in the Valentine's Day slaying of an acquaintance, Donna Jean Nichols, 23.

His retrial was based on an appeals court deciding that he had inadequate defense counsel at the trial where a jury sentenced him to death in 1988. DNA test results in 2001 showed that a hair used to place him at the scene of the killing could not be his.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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