ANN ARBOR, Michigan — A Michigan man sent to prison for 15 years is getting a new trial after the judge failed to do a routine procedure — ask the jury to take an oath.
Timothy Becktel was sentenced in 2008 for assault with intent to murder. But his appellate lawyer successfully argued that the verdict should be thrown out because the jury didn't swear to return an honest decision based on law and evidence.
The Michigan Court of Appeals said Friday it must erase the verdict to preserve the fairness and integrity of the judicial system.
Assistant prosecutor David King says his office might appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. He says Becktel's trial attorney never objected to the lack of a jury oath.
Here's an older story about his crime (dated 2008)
http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2...in_stabbi.htmlA Saline man was charged with attempted murder Wednesday in the stabbing of an acquaintance in his apartment earlier this week.
Timothy Becktel, 33, was arraigned on attempted murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and felonious assault charges at the Washtenaw County Jail Wednesday afternoon, said Saline Police Detective Don Lupi.
He is accused of repeatedly stabbing Stephen Kozmiuk, 25, with a large knife during an argument just after midnight Tuesday.
Kozmiuk remains hospitalized but was able to speak to investigators for the first time Wednesday, Lupi said.
Police said the two men were drinking in Becktel's apartment in the 100 block of North Ann Arbor Street when an argument escalated into a physical confrontation. The fight continued outside in the parking lot, where police found Kozmiuk bleeding and unconscious after Becktel reported the stabbing.
Becktel remains jailed without bond and faces a preliminary hearing March 11.