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Court says appeals of death penalty in murder of Cedar Springs woman can continue

Michigan Supreme Court posts approved plans to reopen trial courts
Posted at 6:36 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 06:36:47-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan man sentenced to death nearly 20 years ago has won a key decision to extend his efforts to overturn the punishment.

An appeals court says Marvin Gabrion can appeal on four issues, including claims that his trial lawyers were ineffective at the 2002 trial in Grand Rapids federal court.

Gabrion, now 66, was convicted of killing a woman in a lake in a national forest in Newaygo County, north of Grand Rapids.

Michigan doesn’t have the death penalty, but it is available in homicides prosecuted in federal court.

Prosecutors said Gabrion killed Rachel Timmerman of Cedar Springs to prevent her from testifying against him in an assault case.