N Carolina rapist should get new trial after sentencing gaff

June 4, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina rapist is entitled to a new trial after state appellate judges ruled his sentencing veered away from the plea agreement he made with prosecutors.

The state Court of Appeals decided Tuesday that the judge who sentenced Boyd Douglas Marsh failed to tell him he could withdraw his guilty plea.

The Cumberland County man was sentenced in 2017 to up to 34 years in prison for one rape committed in 1998 and a second in 2015.

Marsh’s plea bargain called for a single judgment imposing a single sentence. Instead, the trial judge entered two verdicts for the separate crimes, judging that the sentencing guidelines used in 1998 were different in 2015. The judge decided the two sentences should run simultaneously, amounting to the agreed-upon term.

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