AP NEWS

State high court tosses murder conviction

November 20, 2019 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ highest court has vacated a murder conviction because of language used by the prosecution during trial.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruling issued Tuesday states the first-degree murder conviction against 31-year-old Jonathan Niemic must be vacated because the lead prosecutor made improper statements during closing arguments.

Niemic was convicted in the 2010 stabbing death of 34-year-old Michael Correia in New Bedford. The men had a dispute over a woman they had both dated.

Niemic’s attorney argued the killing was self-defense.

The high court said the lead prosecutor appealed to jurors’ emotions, used facts that weren’t in the evidence, misstated facts and improperly stated his opinion.

It was the second time Niemic’s murder conviction was tossed.

Prosecutors can either accept a verdict reduction to manslaughter or retry Niemic.

Prosecutors are reviewing the ruling.