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Winston County man ask federal appeals court to review his capital murder conviction


JACKSON, Mississippi — A Mississippi inmate is asking a federal appeals court to review his conviction for capital murder.

J.C. Higginbotham argues his guilty plea was involuntary and he wants a new trial.

Higginbotham was one of four people arrested in 2007 shooting death of 71-year-old L.S. Vowell of McCool, whose body was found in a chicken house in southern Winston County.

Higginbotham pleaded guilty to capital murder in 2008 and was sentenced to life without parole.

Mississippi courts denied Higginbotham's motions for a new trial last year. The state courts found the trial judge extensively questioned Higginbotham about his plea and the sentence he would face and Higginbotham told the judge he understood.

Higginbotham filed a petition with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in September.

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