LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Supreme Court has overturned a lower court ruling giving a new trial to a Perry County man serving a 145-year prison sentence.
In a ruling Thursday, the court said Joe Lester Cantrell was not entitled to a new trial simply because his attorney may have made mistakes during his trial. The Perry County Circuit Court granted Cantrell a new trial after agreeing that his attorney's errors may have changed the outcome.
But the Supreme Court says that the lower court ruling wasn't definitive enough and needed to find a "reasonable probability" that the trial outcome would have been different. It reversed the decision and sent the case back to the lower court.
The opinion says Cantrell was convicted of multiple crimes related to methamphetamine distribution.
©2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.