Appeals panel reverses order to free Ohio inmate

CINCINNATI - An appeals court has reversed an order for an Ohio inmate convicted of murder to be freed unless prosecutors throw out one of two charges against him.

The Tuesday decision by a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means that 42-year-old Michael Walters will continue serving 20 years to life in prison in a Columbus man's 2005 death.

A federal court had found that Walters' convictions on murder and assault constituted double jeopardy and that his sentence needed to be reduced based on one charge, or he needed to be released.

The appeals panel ruled that Walters' sentence isn't eligible for a reduction.

Walters and another man convicted in the death each argued that they played a minor role in a scuffle that accidentally turned deadly.

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