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Court to hear appeal from man on death row in police slaying

January 23, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear the case of a Virginia man who was sentenced to death for killing a police officer in 2005.

Thomas Porter was convicted of capital murder for shooting Norfolk police Officer Stanley Reaves three times in the head.

Porter testified he shot Reaves in self-defense because he feared for his life during an encounter with the officer. Prosecutors said Porter shot Reaves because he had an outstanding warrant and knew he was committing a crime by carrying a gun.

Porter’s lawyers argue that he was convicted and sentenced to death by a biased jury. The defense cites a juror who improperly failed to disclose that his brother was a deputy sheriff.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday.

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