- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has reinstated the attempted robbery conviction of a West Virginia man who claims a prosecutor withheld crucial evidence at his trial.

Wednesday’s 2-1 ruling Wednesday by a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Richmond reverses a decision by U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin in Charleston.

Steven A. Watkins was convicted in the June 2007 attempted robbery of a Fayetteville pharmacy. Store owner Mike Zimm testified he was afraid when Watkins entered wearing a mask. The prosecution had to prove fear to obtain a conviction.

Watkins claimed that the prosecutor improperly failed to tell his lawyer that Zimm really might not have been afraid. However, the appeals court said that information was based on a conversation that occurred after the trial.

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