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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.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

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

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