Kalamazoo: Court reopens case of man shackled in courtroom

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) -- A convicted killer from Kalamazoo County will get another chance to show that courtroom shackles may have spoiled his right to a fair trial.

The state appeals court rejected Ervine Davenport's argument last year, but the Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the trial judge to take another look.

The Supreme Court wants Judge Pamela Lightvoet to determine if jurors saw the shackles. If so, Kalamazoo County prosecutors must show that the shackles didn't influence the jury's guilty verdict.

The 45-year-old Davenport is serving a life sentence for murder. He was accused of choking a woman to death.

The trial judge never explained on the record why Davenport had to be shackled.

Published: Tue, Mar 15, 2011

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