- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Court of Appeals has reversed a murder conviction stemming from a shooting outside a Surry County nightclub.

A divided three-judge panel said Tuesday that Ronald Taft Davis III’s acquittal on a misdemeanor charge of reckless handling of a firearm precluded his later prosecution for murder based on the same 2008 incident.

Davis was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder after someone fired at least 10 rounds into a parked car, killing a passenger. However, a general district court judge previously had acquitted Davis on the misdemeanor charge, saying prosecutors failed to prove Davis was the gunman.

Applying a legal doctrine based on double jeopardy, the appeals court said the failure to prove Davis did the shooting meant he could not be convicted of murder.