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Convicted Killer Wants New Trial

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Updated: 2/14/2012 7:09 pm
     A Fayette County Judge will take more time to decide whether or not Donald Southworth will get a new trial.  Southworth's attorneys filed the motion for a new trial earlier this month after he was convicted of murder in the 2010 killing of his wife Umi Southworth.  Tuesday, judge Kimberly Bunnell overruled all but one of the defense's arguments for a new trial.

     The defense says that during deliberations, jurors asked to see divorce papers that were found in a trash can but they were given a copy, not the original document that was presented in court.  But, the prosecution says it wouldn't have made a difference and cites the fact that it took the jury less than three hours to convict Southworth of murder.

     "They were out 2 and a half hours and they ate lunch during that period of time. They came back and found him guilty of murder. They came back shortly thereafter with a sentence of life.  They didn't seem to have the least bit of problem and I don't think anything that's been raised in this motion for a new trial.. I don't think it will change anything," says Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson.
    
     "It's clear for the record that they asked to see an exhibit, through nobody's fault, a different exhibit was given to them and they immediately noticed it was different and then very shortly thereafter they reached a verdict," explains Southworth's defense attorney Russell Baldani.

    The judge has set a hearing to discuss this for February 21st.  Southworth is scheduled to be sentenced on February 24th.  His defense attorneys say if their request for a new trial is denied, they will file an appeal with the Kentucky Supreme Court.
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