Death sentence reversed for Jefferson County man

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the capital murder conviction and death sentence of a Jefferson County man.

Jeffery Tyrone Riggs had been convicted in the January 2008 shooting death of his former girlfriend, Norber Payne, at her apartment in Center Point.

The Court of Criminal Appeals agreed unanimously with Riggs' argument that the jury instructions should have included comments about the state's burden to prove that he didn't act in the heat of passion.

Riggs contended that should have been part of the instructions because he testified that he shot Payne after she hit him in the eye with a door and after she came at him with what he thought was a knife.

The ruling opens the door for Riggs to get a new trial.

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