FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — An 88-year-old man's attorney wants the Arkansas Supreme Court to review a lower court decision that retrying his client for first-degree murder doesn't constitute double jeopardy.
Autry Basham admitted killing his 83-year-old wife, Marie Basham, in 2007 but claimed he was mentally ill. A mistrial was declared when a Sebastian County jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of a second-degree murder conviction.
The Southwest Times-Record reports that attorney Kent McLemore argued that the jury's decision to convict Basham of the lesser charge became a "formal verdict" when the judge made a note from the panel part of the trial record.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals cited a state Supreme Court decision which said a jury foreman's announcement that a defendant had been acquitted of capital murder wasn't a formal verdict.
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