Appeals court reverses 3rd-degree murder conviction

Written by The Associated Press | May 30, 2017 3:16 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A divided appeals court has reversed the third-degree murder conviction of a man who argued that he killed a man in self-defense after he was harassed and attacked on a Philadelphia sidewalk.

The Superior Court ruled 2-1 that 30-year-old Timothy Highsmith should have been convicted of a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in the October 2012 death of Wille Scott.

The ruling vacates the 7½- to 15-year prison term and orders Highsmith resentenced on the manslaughter charge.

Authorities said the intoxicated 280-pound Smith followed and threatened Highsmith after an earlier confrontation and grabbed his arm, so he fired three times.

A judge rejected Highsmith's self-defense argument, saying he hadn't tried to retreat, but Judge Carl Solano said Scott's actions "place him squarely as the aggressor."

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