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New trial ordered in reservation killing

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Shea, reversing a decision he made last May, ordered a new trial Thursday for Norman “Griz” Ford, convicted in a 2006 home-invasion slaying on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

Ford, 32, will now be tried a second time, on May 24, on charges related to the June 1, 2006, shooting death of Gary R. Flett Jr., who died in his home on the reservation northwest of Spokane.

After a jury convicted Ford last year, defense attorney Mark Vovos asked the judge to grant a new trial because the court changed the jury instruction after deliberations had begun.

The judge refused then to grant a new trial, but never got around to setting a sentencing date for Ford, who face a mandatory life sentence.

In the meantime, Ford was appointed a new attorney, Pete Schweda, who successfully filed the renewed request for a new trial.

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