The Virginia Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a man sentenced to 25 years in prison two years ago in the slaying of a woman and the wounding of a man in Fairfax County.
Edwin Lee Jury Jr., 33, was convicted on Nov. 16, 1988, by a Fairfax Circuit Court jury of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Barbara Guice in the parking lot of an Annandale apartment complex and the malicious wounding of Fred Rotramel.
Jury, who remains imprisoned, was sentenced to consecutive 20- and 15-year prison terms. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said the appeals court's reversal would lead to a retrial.
In its ruling on Tuesday, the appeals court said Circuit Judge Michael P. McWeeny erred when he refused to allow the testimony of Jury's father, Edwin Jury Sr., who had remained in the courtroom after an order was made excluding witnesses.
R. Dean Kidwell, Jury's attorney, argued at the trial that Edwin Jury Sr.'s testimony would have shown bias on the part of Rotramel, who was the prosecution's witness.
The Court of Appeals found that, other than the defendant, Rotramel was the only surviving eyewitness and any testimony that would have discredited him was vital to the defense.