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Arizona killer’s death penalty overturned

KINGMAN, Ariz. — The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the death sentence of a Kingman man who was convicted of first-degree murder.

Darrell Ketchner, 55, was convicted of stabbing to death 18-year-old Ariel Allison on July 4, 2009. The jury also found him guilty of charges associated with shooting and wounding Ariel’s mother, Jennifer Allison, the mother of Ketchner’s three youngest children.

The court ruled that the trial was flawed by the state’s use of an expert who testified about profiles of domestic violence cases. The justices held that the testimony might have been prejudicial for the jury.

Other convictions in the case stand.

While the death penalty is dismissed, Ketchner must still serve 75 years in prison barring further prosecution.

The Mohave County attorney’s office can accept the decision and dismiss the reversed charges, attempt to negotiate a plea agreement or try the case again.

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