Appeals court overturns Ohio murder-for-hire death sentence


CINCINNATI (AP) — A man sentenced to die in an Ohio murder-for-hire case says statements alleging his involvement were hearsay, and a federal court has agreed and has thrown out his conviction and death sentence.

Friday’s ruling came in the case of Ahmad Fawzi Issa (AH’-mahd FOW’-zee EE’-sah), convicted of aggravated murder for arranging the killing of Maher Khrais, a Cincinnati convenience store owner shot outside his store in 1997.

Authorities say Issa paid a man $10,000 to kill Khrais at the request of Khrais’ wife, Linda Khriss.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave Hamilton County prosecutors six months to retry the 48-year-old Issa or release him.

A message was left with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, which could appeal the ruling.

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