Man sentenced to 11 years after murder conviction overturned
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man whose previous murder conviction was overturned has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter.
The Bakersfield Californian reports an appellate court reversed Danny Leon Mathis’ 2013 conviction after finding the trial judge committed prejudicial error in refusing to allow a hearsay witness statement into evidence.
The case was handed back to Kern County prosecutors, who decided to pursue a manslaughter conviction, instead of murder.
Prosecutors said Mathis was angered that 22-year-old Ruben Torres started dating his estranged girlfriend, and the two men fought. Torres was strangled, and his body was found in the trunk of a car.
Mathis was sentenced Tuesday. The 56-year-old will get credit for time served and has roughly 2½ years left in state prison.
Information from: The Bakersfield Californian, http://www.bakersfield.com