MURDER CONVICTION OVERTURNED Man To Receive New Trial After WV Supreme Court Overturns Murder Conviction
Reported by: Tiersa Davis
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 26, 2012 12:31 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 26, 2012 1:39 PM EST
Eyewitness News Photo
, Cabell County
, West Virginia
A man sentenced to prison for killing his girlfriend will receive a new trial after the West Virginia Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction.
Robert Frazier of Huntington was convicted in Cabell County Circuit Court of second-degree murder in connection with the slaying of his girlfriend, Kathy Smith, in July 2010. In August 2008, police found Smith's body with a gunshot wound to the face.
The appeal is based on the fact that one staff member with the state Medical Examiner’s Office did the autopsy, but the chief medical examiner actually testified in court. Dr. James Kaplan, chief medical examiner, provided testimony during the trial on the autopsy of the body, but Dr. Richard Belding, a deputy assistant medical examiner, performed the actual examination, court documents said. Belding prepared the autopsy report that determined the death was a homicide but was terminated two months before the trial, according to the documents.
There is no word on when Frazier's new trial is set to begin. The decision to grant a new trial was reached Nov. 20.
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