Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 2:22 p.m.
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has overturned the first-degree murder conviction of a North Las Vegas man because of improper questioning by police.
The court today ordered a new trial for Billy R. James, convicted in the fatal shooting of 60-year-old Willie Henderson in his North Las Vegas home on Jan, 22, 2010.
James was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, plus a consecutive term of 6 to 15 years.
The court, in a decision written by Justice Kristina Pickering, said that during questioning, a police officer minimized the importance of the suspect’s Miranda rights to remain silent and have an attorney present. The court said that the interrogation should not have been permitted as evidence at trial and called it an error of “constitutional dimension.”
James maintained the shooting was accidental.