BOSTON — A Massachusetts man who won a new trial after spending 36 years in prison for a murder he says he did not commit has earned another legal victory.

In a decision released Thursday, the state’s highest court rejected a request by prosecutors to reinstate Frederick Weichel’s conviction.

The 65-year-old Weichel was convicted in the 1980 killing of Robert LaMonica.

A judge in April overturned LaMonica’s conviction, saying authorities failed to give the defense a police report suggesting another possible suspect. He was freed on bail.

Convicted gangster James “Whitey” Bulger wrote letters from jail several years ago claiming Weichel didn’t kill LaMonica.

A spokesman for the Norfolk district attorney tells The Boston Globe the office is “examining the ruling.”

A lawyer for Weichel says he’s “hopeful they’ll do justice here.”

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