LEBANON, Ohio — A police official’s new trial in the 1995 death of his wife is approaching, more than a year after his 2005 conviction was overturned.

Former Springboro Police Lt. Thomas “Jim” Barton spent more than a decade behind bars in the death of his wife, Vickie, before his manslaughter conviction was overturned. Investigators alleged she was killed as part of a botched burglary Barton paid to have staged.

A pre-trial hearing is set for Friday, with his new trial scheduled to begin Nov. 3 in Lebanon. Barton has maintained his innocence and was supported at his previous trial by his slain wife’s mother.

Prosecutors said Barton hired men to stage a burglary because he wanted to scare his wife into moving from their rural home to Springboro, near Dayton, to improve his chances of becoming chief of police in the small city.

Authorities charged Barton after a cold-case team in 2003 examined his wife’s death. He was indicted in 2004 and convicted in 2005 of aggravated burglary and involuntary manslaughter.

The conviction was overturned last year based on a finding of prosecutorial misconduct and questions about the testimony of a witness. The 6th U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that authorities improperly withheld evidence that could have helped Barton beat charges that he was involved in the 1995 burglary.

Barton was released this year after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider reinstating his conviction.

Barton, 61, has been living at his home in Springboro since he posted a $350,000 bond in April.

VIAThe Associated Press
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