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Court lets stand order for new trial in slaying

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a ruling requiring Ohio authorities to either retry a man sentenced to life in prison for a 1997 slaying in Ohio or release him.
Last July, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of David B. Clinkscale, 35, after finding he had inadequate legal representation because his lawyers missed a deadline that prohibited them from raising an alibi defense during trial. The ruling reversed a lower court that rejected Clinkscale's appeal in 2002.
A message seeking comment was left with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
Clinkscale was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, kidnapping and possession of drugs. Authorities said he shot childhood friend Kenneth Coleman to death and wounded Coleman's wife, Todne Williams, at the victims' home in Columbus early Sept. 8, 1997.
Williams said she was shot three times as she tried to run from the house. She told a 911 operator that she could not identify her attacker, according to court testimony.
Clinkscale told his lawyers that at the time of the slaying, he was in Youngstown watching television at the home of a friend and that his girlfriend visited him there. Clinkscale said he left about 5 a.m. and drove 15 minutes to his father's home.