LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state court judge has overturned the 2009 murder conviction of a Las Vegas man who has been serving 20 years to life in prison for killing his wife.

Clark County District Court Judge Abbi Silver ruled that 40-year-old Mauricio Melendez received ineffective assistance from his lawyers during trial.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Melendez remains in prison while prosecutors appeal the April ruling.

Melendez was represented at trial by deputy Clark County public defenders Christy Craig and Scott Coffee. Public Defender Phil Kohn says they were properly prepared for trial.

A jury found Melendez guilty of shooting 33-year-old Chennel Melendez in the head in August 2008 in an apartment near Maryland Parkway and Tropicana Avenue.

Melendez is now represented on appeal by attorney Karen Connolly.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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