Albany, N.Y. - A man convicted of a 2002 Rochester murder will be allowed to go free.
That's because the New York Court of Appeals says his conviction was a form of Double Jeopardy.
This is not a case of new evidence pointing to someone's wrongful conviction.
In this case, Derrick Gause was arrested in 2002 for the killing of Whitney Morris in Rochester. The jury was given three choices: not guilty, guilty of intentional murder, or guilty of depraved indifference to human life [a lesser charge].
That jury convicted Gause of depraved indifference, but rejected the charge of intentional murder.
They listened to the case that described Gause beating Morris with a pole after another man had shot Morris at the corner of Turner Street and Arnett Boulevard.
After that trial, Gause's conviction was overturned.
That's when prosecutors decided to go back and try him again on the “intentional murder” charge.
They got their conviction, but now the Court of Appeals says prosecutors should never have been allowed to go back and re-try Derrick Gause.
That's because the jury had already rejected “intentional murder” in the first trial, so the second trial was a form of unconstitutional double jeopardy.
Gause has served nine years in prison, and will now be allowed to go free.