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Florida Supreme Court turns down FSU shooting appeal

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The state Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will not take up an appeal by a former Florida State University student convicted of fatally shooting another student in 2011 during a fraternity party.

The Supreme Court, as is common, did not explain its reasons for declining to hear the appeal by former student Evan Wilhelm, 28, an inmate at Wakulla Correctional Institution.

Wilhelm’s attorneys went to the Supreme Court after the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected arguments raised by Wilhelm, including that he had received “ineffective assistance of counsel” in entering a no-contest plea and in sentencing.

Wilhelm was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the death of Ashley Cowie, 20, of Orange Park, who was shot in the chest as Wilhelm played with a gun, according to the appeals-court ruling.

Wilhelm pleaded no contest to manslaughter, possession of a firearm on school property and culpable negligence with injury.