Man once 2 hours from execution given a new trial

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Florida Department of Corrections photo of Roy Swafford

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court is ordering a new trial for a man that's been on death row for 28 years and was once two hours away from being executed.

The ruling Thursday was based on a retesting of evidence that shows there's no proof that seminal fluid was found on the victim.

Roy Swafford was sentenced to death in 1985 for the 1982 murder of Brenda Rucker. He was also convicted of kidnapping and raping the gas station attendant.

The court concluded that the conviction on all charges largely hinged on testimony that acid phosphatase, which is found in semen, was found on the victim. When the evidence was retested in 2005, neither acid phosphatase nor semen was found on the swabs.

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