Defendant to receive new trial in "Critterman" murder case - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Defendant to receive new trial in "Critterman" murder case

David Nash David Nash
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It was announced on Wednesday that former Montgomery doctor David Nash will officially get a new murder trial. 

Judge Charles Price ordered a second retrial for Nash in January 2014 due to juror misconduct.

In August 2014, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals denied a request by Montgomery County District Attorney Darryl Bailey to force Judge Price to vacate his order for a new trial. 

Nash was previously sentenced to life in prison without parole, the only sentence the judge could hand down, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Darryl Bailey.

Nash was convicted by a jury of capital murder in August 2013 murder-for-hire of popular River Region pest control man Ralph "Critterman" McNeil

Following the conviction, Nash filed motions to have it set aside and sought a new trial. Judge Price agreed with both motions and vacated the conviction in January 2014.

Judge Price based his order on two things: First, the judge said Nash's trial came from an inconsistent presentation of the evidence that was also used in the previous trial of another co-defendant. The second basis was due to juror misconduct.

Price's order to throw out the guilty verdict was stopped by the state supreme court. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ordered Price to reinstate the murder conviction.

The State of Alabama argued that Judge Price, "abused [his] discretion, usurped [his] power, and created a gross disruption in the administration of justice," when he granted Nash's motions to set aside the verdict and order a new trial.

[DOCUMENT: Court of Criminal Appeals Reversal (.pdf)]

The State said Judge Price, "erred in applying judicial estoppel" and "ignored the law and erroneously granted a new a new trial based on juror misconduct."

The Court of Appeals agreed and ordered the judge to reverse his decision and set a sentencing date for Nash.

Nash is one of four people implicated in McNeil's death. The others pleaded guilty and did not go to trial. They include Nash's ex-fiance', Serena English, whom prosecutors say was in a custody dispute with McNeil at the time of his death, and cousins Jeremy and Kendall Riley.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.
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