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Ga. court orders new trial for convicted killer

ATLANTA (AP) -- A convicted killer is getting a new trial after the Georgia Supreme Court ruled a verdict form given to jurors was improperly worded.

The court's unanimous ruling on Monday found that the preprinted verdict form erroneously instructed the jury that in order to find Soniel Cheddersingh not guilty, it had to do so "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Cheddersingh was sentenced to life in prison more than three years ago for the March 2007 slaying of Michael Walker Jr. His attorneys appealed after discovering the flaw in the jury form.

The opinion written by Justice Harris Hines noted it was the state's burden in this case to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and not the other way around.