- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland’s second-highest appellate court has reversed the murder conviction of a Westminster man in a 2012 tavern shooting.

A three-judge panel of the Court of Special Appeals on Monday reversed 26-year-old Jacob Bircher’s convictions for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for fatally shooting a man and wounding another outside an Eldersburg tavern.

The court found that a Carroll County judge gave jury instructions that improperly introduced a theory of intent that wasn’t part of the state’s case.

The ruling doesn’t affect Bircher’s related convictions for assault, handgun offenses and reckless endangerment. He’ll remain in prison pending further proceedings that could include a new trial on the charges that resulted in a life sentence.

Prosecutors say they’re analyzing the opinion. They have until March 19 to appeal.

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