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NC appeals court sides with killer's release claim

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina appeals court ruling could lead to the release of a man convicted of two deaths.

The state Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 Tuesday that the case of Bobby E. Bowden of Fayetteville is different from another case which saw the state Supreme Court decide in 2010 that a life sentence means life.

The appeals court sided with a lower judge who last year ordered that Bowden be released because he served his time under old sentencing guidelines.

A 1970s state law said a life sentence meant 80 years. The appeals court agreed with Bowden's attorneys that he earned credits shaving off more time for the 1975 slayings.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper says the ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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