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Manslaughter conviction reversed in hunter case

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news Bemidji, 56619
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed the manslaughter conviction of a man accused of pulling down a deer stand while another man was in it.

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An appeals panel ruled 2-1 Monday the trial court should have acquitted Kevin McCormick.

A dispute arose in 2010 when the Breezy Point man spotted a deer stand he believed was on his property. The stand fell during the dispute. Jerry Benedict was in it, and died of multiple injuries over two weeks later.

Prosecutors said McCormick caused Benedict's fatal injuries. But McCormick argued the stand toppled by accident, and that other evidence showed Benedict likely suffered his fatal injuries later that day, in a fall from a second stand.

The Court of Appeals says the circumstantial evidence was insufficient to sustain McCormick's conviction.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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