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Drennen conviction overturned; new murder trial ordered

Oct 1, 2013 - From staff and wire reports

The Wyoming Supreme Court has overturned a Riverton man's first-degree murder conviction in the 2010 shooting death of another man.

The court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Gabriel R. Drennen.

Drennen had appealed his convictions for first-degree murder and aggravated assault and battery in the 2010 killing of 29-year-old Leroy Holster.

The Supreme Court ruled it was improper for prosecutors to tell the jury at Drennen's trial that Wyoming law always prohibits the shooting of an unarmed man. The ruling states prosecutors misinformed the jury about the law and that it was up to the jury to decide whether the shooting was justified.

Drennen has stated he feared for his life when Holster threatened to kill him and pushed him over a fence.

Hoster was Drennen's tenant at a Riverton trailer park, and the two had argued about a tenancy issue before the shooting.

Drennen shot Hoster multiple times with a hand gun.

An oddity that turned up during the trial was that Drennen brought an audio recording device with him when he confronted Hoster, and the killing was recorded.

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