Murder conviction overturned due to use of racist stereotype

A man accused of fatally shooting an ex-girlfriend in 2017 at her Milton apartment has won his appeal after he successfully argued that prosecutorial misconduct deprived him of a fair trial.

The News Tribune reported Monday that a three-judge panel of Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals overturned his convictions Aug. 31 saying prosecutors committed misconduct that suggested racist stereotypes to the jury.

Jurors convicted Joshua Kioni Ellis of second-degree murder for the death of Wendi Traynor, and Ellis was sentenced to over 23 years in prison.

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A Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson said the office is deciding whether to ask the state Supreme Court to review the decision.