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A third trial has been ordered in Van Buren County for a twice convicted murder suspect


VAN BUREN COUNTY (WKZO) -- A West Michigan man who has been convicted twice of the drug related murder of 22-year-old Charles Miller in 1988, could get a third trial after a federal appeals judge found fault with his second trial.

Junior Fred Blackston’s various appeals have been rejected by the State Supreme Court three times, and been bouncing around state courts for the better part of a decade. When he exhausted those appeals, he moved on to the federal courts.

The Attorney General’s office is expected to appeal a Federal Judge’s order that Blackston be tried in 90 days or set free, but first he has to get a stay, so he will have time to appeal the ruling before the 90 days are up.

Blackston is serving life without parole for allegedly shooting Miller in the head over a drug debt and burying his body in a shallow grave near the Van Buren/Allegan County line.