Judge’s error makes man’s guilty plea to Ohio murder invalid


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A central Ohio man imprisoned for murder must choose whether to pursue a new plea deal or a trial after an appeals court concluded his guilty plea is invalid because of a judge’s error.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2fICNmz ) reports the Franklin County Court of Appeals vacated Raymond Johnson’s pleas and reversed his convictions this week. The court says the judge who accepted Johnson’s pleas in October 2015 failed to inform him of his right to confront witnesses if the case went to trial.

The 35-year-old Johnson was accused of shooting into a duplex and killing a man in April 2014, and he apologized to the man’s family in court. Johnson had subsequently tried unsuccessfully to withdraw his pleas and argued that he’s innocent and that he had ineffective legal representation.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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