Appeals court overturns 2016 Green Bay homicide conviction
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — An appeals court has overturned the homicide conviction of a man serving life in prison for a 2016 killing in Green Bay.
The court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Richard Arrington after ruling that the state violated his rights when police equipped another jail inmate with a recording device to document Arrington’s conversations.
Arrington was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of Ricardo Gomez.
Defense attorneys had argued that the state infringed on Arrington’s right to counsel by supplying jail staff with a small digital recorder that was tucked into a band around the informant’s waist, WLUK-TV reported.
The appeals court agreed and said the informant was acting as an agent of the state in an “intentional, surreptitious creation of an opportunity to confront Arrington without counsel present.” The situation was likely to induce Arrington to make incriminating statements without the help of lawyers, the court ruled.
In addition, the failure of Arrington’s attorney to object to the use of the recordings denied Arrington a fair trial, the ruling said.
A hearing to reschedule the trial has not been set.