Court overturns Nevada inmate's death sentence, conviction

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned a 64-year-old Nevada inmate's death sentence and murder conviction ruling an instruction given to the jury during his 1990 trial violated his rights.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday overturning Billy Ray Riley's sentence and conviction for the shooting death of drug dealer Albert "Ramrod" Bollin.

Riley is a prisoner at maximum-security Ely State Prison and will continue serving a life-sentence without parole for a robbery conviction in the same case.

The court says Riley clearly acted willfully and with premeditation but not necessarily deliberately. The ruling says the jury was never told deliberateness could be considered separately.

A footnote in the ruling says Riley's defense was "egregiously deficient" due in part to Clark County's inadequate public defense department at the time.

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