NEWARK, N.J. — A state appellate court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of murder because witnesses who testified on his behalf wore prison attire and were handcuffed during their testimony.
Keevin David was convicted in the January 2011 shooting death of Tyrell Coleman at an Orange apartment building. David is now serving a 55-year-sentence.
David’s attorneys argued that the jail uniforms and handcuffs undermined the witnesses’ credibility and prejudiced the jury.
The appellate court agreed, noting that a hearing must be held to determine if witnesses must be restrained. It also said jurors must be told not to have the handcuffs influence their decision.
The appellate court said neither happened in David’s case.
Essex County prosecutor’s told NJ.com that they don’t plan to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. But they do plan to retry the case.