Massachusetts High Court Overturns First-Degree Murder Conviction

The highest court in Massachusetts has overturned the murder conviction of a Maine man who was found guilty in connection with a 1994 disappearance and death.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Friday vacated the first-degree murder conviction of John Fredette because it "was predicated on a theory of aggravated kidnapping that did not exist at the time of the homicide."

The case was sent back to the trial judge for either a finding of second-degree murder or a new trial.

Fredette, of Saco, Maine, was one of three men convicted in 2014 in the killing of Kevin Harkins. Harkins vanished from a Worcester bar in 1994 and was never seen again.

Prosecutors say Harkins was killed because he refused to offer false testimony in a drug case involving Fredette.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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