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NC court grants new trial for man facing life

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The N.C. Court of Appeals has granted a new trial for a man convicted five years ago in the murder of a teenager.

The Times-News of Burlington reports that the court granted the new trial for 37-year-old Lawrence Donell Flood Sr., who was convicted in December 2009 of first-degree murder in the death of Jerrod Watlington. Watlington was shot in the head in August 2007 with a .38 caliber handgun that was never recovered.

The court said evidence of a previous murder conviction in New Jersey was inadmissible in Flood’s Alamance County trial.

The state sought the death penalty but the jury recommended Flood be sentenced to life without parole. Watlington and Flood were allegedly involved in a drug deal when the murder occurred at a Graham apartment complex.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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