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Conviction in friend’s shooting death thrown out

January 26, 2019

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — A judge has thrown out the conviction of a central Pennsylvania man in the shooting death of a friend.

Twenty-four-year-old Da’ran Sears was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter in the July 2013 death of Donte Marks in Williamsport. He said he didn’t know the gun was loaded.

His new attorney contends that his client wanted to plead guilty to the original charge, but held off while his former attorney sought to have a receiving stolen property charge dismissed. Prosecutors later filed a murder charge, and Sears was convicted and sentenced to 21 to 50 years.

PennLive.com reports that a Lycoming County judge has scheduled a March 1 hearing to allow Sears the opportunity to plead guilty to the original charges —and said he can’t be retried on the murder charge.

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Information from: Pennlive.com, http://www.pennlive.com

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