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Appeals court overturns Spokane murder conviction

The Washington Court of Appeals has ruled that a 2006 murder conviction must be thrown out because some of the jurors in the case were questioned individually in the jury room, not in open court.

The questioning violated Clifford M. Meyers’ right to a public trial, the court said in its decision. The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Meyers.

Meyers was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for the 2005 “execution style” slaying of Elijah Bishop, 22, as he sat in a truck in the Shadle Wal-Mart parking lot. Witnesses said Meyers, then 35, shot Bishop in the head at close range.

According to newspaper reports at the time, police described Meyers as a career criminal with 14 previous felony convictions that included first-degree statutory rape, burglary and illegal possession of a firearm.