Death Penalty Ordered Vacated in Evansville Family Killings

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ A federal appeals court has ordered the conviction and death sentence set aside for an Evansville man a convicted of fatally shooting his estranged wife and their two young children 14 years ago. 
 
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Paul McManus was forced to appear before a jury in a “drug-induced stupor'' in violation of federal case law. It sent McManus' case back to a lower court with instructions to grant his petition for release unless the state seeks a new trial.
 
The Evansville Courier & Press reports McManus was sentenced to death in 2002. After exhausting his state appeals, McManus asked a federal judge to set aside his conviction and sentence on constitutional grounds.
 
A message seeking comment was left for the Indiana Attorney General's Office