- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida appeals court has thrown out the convictions of two men sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder.

The Florida Times-Union (https://bit.ly/1R0NuMV ) reports that Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal on Thursday overturned the convictions of 35-year-old Charles Pearce and 24-year-old Theodist Richardson in separate cases.

A jury convicted Pearce of killing Michael McCue, a Jacksonville firefighter, and the attempted murder of McCue’s father.

The court ruled that the trial judge erred in refusing to allow the defense to show part of a recorded police interview.

Richardson was convicted for the murders of 31-year-old Billy Johnson, 26-year-old Kenneth Curry and 19-year-old Danielle Melton. The court threw all of those out because the trial judge gave faulty jury instructions about self-defense.

Prosecutors say they are likely to retry both men.

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Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, https://www.jacksonville.com

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