West Virginia Supreme Court Overturns Poore Conviction

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The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a Pleasants County man serving time for the 1981 murder of his infant son.

Richard Poore was sentenced to life in prison in January 2009 for the death of his son, Richard Poore, Junior.

In a decision released Friday, Justices ruled that Poore's due process rights were violated because evidence and witnesses possibly clearing Poore were no longer available.

The Appeals Court also said the prosecutor's reading of the infant's obituary and the display of photographs of the baby's grave to the jury during opening statements were examples of statements calculated to inflame, prejudice or mislead a jury.

The Appeals Court did leave open the possibility that Poore still could be retried in Pleasants County Circuit Court on a first degree murder charge of his son.

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