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Court ruling: Second-degree murder not 'crime of violence'

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Posted at 10:34 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-21 01:34:31-04

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a man's second-degree murder conviction but threw out another conviction based on the first while ruling that the murder isn't always a crime of violence under federal law.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel's 2-1 ruling Monday said Randly Begay couldn't be convicted of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence because second-degree murder can be committed recklessly and therefore isn't legally considered a "crime of violence."

Begay was convicted of second-degree murder in a 2013 killing in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Nation's reservation.

Roderick Ben was shot in the head as he, Begay and two other people sat in a van outside a home.

Begay had been complaining about claims his girlfriend was cheating on him with Ben.