DA to appeal ruling ordering new hearing in 1975 slaying - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

DA to appeal ruling ordering new hearing in 1975 slaying

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ERIE, Pa. (AP) -

Prosecutors will ask Pennsylvania's highest court to reverse an appeals court ruling overturning the first-degree murder conviction and life sentence of a former northwestern Pennsylvania high school teacher in the strangulation death of a student more than four decades ago.

The Erie Times-News reports that the Erie County district attorney's office said Friday that it will ask the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to step into the case of former Strong Vincent High School teacher Raymond Payne.

Payne, now 81, pleaded guilty to a general count of murder in the 1975 strangulation death of 16-year-old Debbie Gama. He was convicted of first-degree murder.

A 6-3 Superior Court decision last month ordered a new degree-of-guilt hearing, citing 2014 DNA tests indicating that someone else's DNA was found on the body.

___

Information from: Erie Times-News, http://www.goerie.com

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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