Man wins new trial in wife's death - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Man wins new trial in wife's death

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POPLARVILLE, Miss. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - The state Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for Joseph Ronald Hartfield who was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in 2012 for conspiring to kill his wife.

Authorities say the body of Tabitha Hartfield was found May 31, 2008, in a shallow grave deep in the woods of Lamar County. Authorities say she had been strangled, possibly up to a week before her discovery.

The Appeals Court, in a 6-3 ruling Tuesday, says Hartfield was denied his right to present his defense to the jury. The court says the trial judge erred in not letting the jury hear letters written by a Hartfield's co-defendants to about the details of the slaying.

Defense attorneys argued the letters allegedly showed Hartfield was not involved. Prosecutors argued the letters were hearsay.

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