LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Raphel Cherry, a former NFL player with Washington and Detroit, has been granted a new trial nearly a year after being convicted of first-degree murder.

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld Friday a lower court ruling that jurors for the original trial apparently violated instructions against talking about the case.

Cherry, 37, was sentenced last August to life in prison for the December 1998 killing of his estranged wife, Jerri.

A fifth-round pick by the Redskins out of Hawaii in 1985, he appeared in 42 games with Washington and Detroit and had five interceptions between 1985-88.