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Legal team hopes to overturn Richmond sentence

ROCKINGHAM (AP) — A legal team from Duke University is trying to overturn a murder conviction in Richmond County in a 1995 death.

The Richmond County Daily Journal reported a hearing began this week in Rockingham in the case of Derrick Jovan McRae.

McRae was convicted in 1998 in the death of Jeremy Lee Rankin. Prosecutors said Rankin was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head at a home in Rockingham in 1995.

Attorney Jamie Lau says the appeal is based on witness statements that were not given to the original defense attorney. Lau also says there has been recent testimony by one of the witnesses recanting the original testimony against McRae.

McRae was 16 when Rankin was killed. McRae rejected several plea deals, saying he was innocent.

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