Indiana woman's murder conviction vacated in 2001 case

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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has agreed with an Indiana woman who argued that she had ineffective legal counsel at her murder trial for the 2001 slaying of her boyfriend.

The Journal & Courier reports U.S. District Court Judge William T. Lawrence last week ordered Anastazia Schmid's murder conviction vacated. He wrote in his ruling that testimony that she was "psychotic" and "heavily medicated" raised questions about her competence, but her lawyer didn't seek a competency hearing.

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington says the Indiana Attorney General's office will review the order and discuss next steps with the prosecutor's office. Harrington says he supports an appeal.

Jurors convicted Schmid in 2002 of killing her boyfriend and business partner, Tony Heathcote, on March 4, 2001 in Lafayette. She's serving a 50-year prison sentence.

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