TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey woman linked to a slaying after authorities said she wore boots with the victim’s blood on them to a police interview will be allowed to seek a new trial due to a search of her purse ruled illegal.

The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that two Gloucester County investigators improperly searched Lori Hummel’s purse in connection with the December 2010 stabbing death of 54-year-old Thomas Carbin.

The 46-year-old West Deptford woman pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the Westville apartment slaying and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Hummel’s appeal challenged prosecutors’ use of the boots and a state benefits card given to the victim. Appellate court judges found that the boots were offered willingly for inspection but the card was obtained improperly from her purse.

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