West Virginia overturns conviction of man in fatal crash

April 5, 2018

MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Supreme Court has cited a lower court error in overturning the conviction of a motorist who was high on methamphetamine when his truck crashed and killed four people.

In an opinion released Thursday, the justices ruled a trial judge’s comments deprived Frank Thompson of his right to a fair trial. The case was returned to Boone County Circuit Court.

According to the opinion, the trial judge told a jury pool that Thompson had accepted a plea agreement and that “he did the jury pool a favor.”

After potential jurors were released for the day, Thompson changed his mind and decided to go to trial. The same jury pool was convened the next day and the trial proceeded. Thompson was convicted and sentence to life in prison with the chance for parole after 15 years.

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