JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two years after Michael Jackson was convicted of the rape and murder of Andrea Boyer, a legal curve ball has reopened old wounds for her family.
"It's completely overwhelming in every way," said Heather Fletcher, Boyer's sister-in-law. "It's like reliving her death for a third time -- initially, the day that she did die, having to go through the first trial, and now having to do this."
In a 5-2 vote Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court overturned Jackson's 2010 conviction and ordered a new trial.
The court found that a video recording of Jackson's interrogation prejudiced the Clay County jury because detectives repeatedly expressed their view that he was guilty.
"My only question is, why did you kill her?" a detective asked Jackson in the recording.
"Why did I kill her?" Jackson said.
"Yeah," the detective said.
"What do you mean why did I kill her?" Jackson said.
"Why did you kill her?" the detective said.
"I ain't killed nobody," Jackson said.
"I mean, you wanted to rape her, that's one thing. But to kill her, that's totally different," the detective said.
State Attorney Angela Corey and Assistant State Attorney Dan Skinner prosecuted the case. They said they were shocked by the high court's decision and said the detectives adhered to constitutional law.
"They have to be aggressive," Corey said. "It is our right to get a defendant who has validly waived Miranda (rights) to speak to us honestly about the case, and if the defendant lies to us, we should be able to prove he is lying."
Because of redactions and editing, the jury only saw 37 minutes of the two-hour interrogation, something Corey said the defense and judge agreed to, making the court's ruling even more frustrating.
While it doesn't keep prosecutors from using the tape again at trial, it will likely affect their strategy.
"We will go right back in and adjust what we need to adjust and try this case with the same vigor that we tried it with the first time," Corey said.
That vigor is what Boyer's family is counting on for closure.
"To make sure he gets the death penalty again, because he is putting my family through an absolute nightmare for a third time," Fletcher said.
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