- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man whose murder conviction for killing his wife 10 years ago was overturned has reached a plea deal with prosecutors

Acting Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced Tuesday that 46-year-old Samander Dabas of South Brunswick pleaded guilty late last week to aggravated manslaughter. He was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, and will have to serve five years of supervised release once he’s freed.

Prosecutors say Dabas used his van to run down his wife, 20-year-old Renu Dabas, in a strip mall parking lot in August 2004. He was convicted of murder in 2007, but a state appellate court overturned that in 2011. The state Supreme Court affirmed the panel’s ruling last July.

The appellate panel found the trial judge wrongly refused to instruct jurors of the implications of a county investigator’s decision to destroy notes he made while interrogating Dabas. Those notes were used in taking a formal, tape-recorded statement from Dabas.

Authorities have said Dabas had been drinking the day of the accident and had crashed his van into a small tree in the parking lot after he left work. His wife got out of the vehicle and refused his demands to get back inside, and he eventually ran her down

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