Appeals court reduces conviction in mother killing

HUMBOLDT, Tenn. (AP) -- An appeals court has overturned the first-degree murder conviction of a Gibson County man in the dismemberment killing of his mother.

The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled, however, that evidence does support a second-degree murder conviction of David Climer Jr.

The recent ruling was reported by The Jackson Sun in Thursday's edition.

In 2008, Climer led police to the buried remains of his mother, Dorris Deberry, in a Madison County woods. Investigators believe Deberry was killed in late November 2007. Climer told police he decapitated his mother's body, but claimed he did not kill her.

A jury in Humboldt convicted Climer of first-degree murder in March 2010 and he was sentenced to life in prison -- an effective 51-year term.

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