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Judge orders new trial for man in slaying case

Judge orders new trial for man in slaying case



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A judge has ordered a new trial for a man who was convicted of murder and aggravated sexual assault because a juror didn't tell the court she was raped as a teenager.

Parley Jeffs Dutson, 20, was convicted last July of fatally shooting his girlfriend, 15-year-old Kara Hopkins, in the back of the head during a party at a West Jordan apartment in April 2007.

Third District Court Judge Royal Hansen said in a ruling Thursday that Dutson was deprived of having a fair and impartial jury hear the case. Hansen said that if the woman had disclosed the rape before the trial, there is a high likelihood that she would have been dismissed from serving as a juror.

The woman said during a February hearing that she didn't mean to mislead anyone or hide the assault, which occurred when she was 15.

The incident was disclosed during jury deliberations in the trial.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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