- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A man convicted for a 2009 fatal stabbing in Wilkes County won’t get a new trial after all following a North Carolina Supreme Court decision.

The justices overturned Friday a Court of Appeals decision involving James Douglas Triplett, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for first-degree murder. Trial evidence showed Bruce Barnes was killed after Triplett and others came to Barnes’ house seeking drugs.

Court of Appeals judges determined the trial judge was wrong to prevent jurors from hearing a voicemail left by Triplett’s sister that could have questioned the truthfulness of her testimony for the state.

But Justice Robin Hudson wrote the trial judge didn’t abuse his discretion and that witnesses beside the sister also testified about whether Triplett knew of a plan to rob Barnes.

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