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Oregon appeals court overturns death row inmate’s conviction


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction and death penalty sentence of an inmate accused of fatally stabbing another inmate in a prison yard.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the ruling this week found that 54-year-old David Lee Cox, who was sentenced to death in 2000, received ineffective counsel.

The Oregon attorney general’s office said Wednesday it was reviewing the ruling and hasn’t decided whether to appeal.

The court says one trial witness testified that the killing was part of a murder-for-hire conspiracy involving a prison group called the Lakota Club. The court says Cox’s lawyer should have investigated that theory and called witnesses who could have refuted it.

Cox was convicted of stabbing 31-year-old inmate Mark Dean Davis in the back. He claimed he didn’t mean to kill Davis. Cox was serving time for robbery, attempted murder, kidnapping, attempted assault and burglary convictions.

Cox was convicted in 1994 of robbing a convenience store in Milwaukie and stealing a Milwaukie police car, which he later crashed.

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