- Associated Press - Saturday, October 29, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Prosecutors are appealing a decision to grant a new trial to a man who was serving a life sentence for a 1987 murder in Huntington.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail (https://bit.ly/2em602a ) reports prosecutors filed a notice to appeal with West Virginia’s Supreme Court.

The notice seeks to reverse Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson’s order and reinstate Phillip Ward’s first-degree murder conviction and sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.

Prosecutors say the judge abused his discretion when he granted the new trial, based on testimony from former West Virginia State Police serologist Fred Zain. Prosecutors say Zain’s testimony was “completely litigated.”

Attorney Connor Robertson says it’s unfortunate the prosecutors believe trials “tainted with false and perjured testimony” are acceptable.

Ward has spent nearly 30 years in prison for Carol Carter’s murder.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, https://wvgazettemail.com.

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