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State court rejects appeal of convicted murderer in ‘Craigslist killing’

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington man convicted in the home invasion robbery and killing of a man who advertised a diamond ring on Craigslist has lost his appeal for a new trial.

The News Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/2jNAYDr ) Wednesday that 30-year-old Clabon Berniard was found guilty in 2015 of murder and robbery and sentenced to 97 years in prison.

Berniard was accused along with three others of invading the Tacoma-area home of James Sanders and his wife, Charlene, in 2010, beating the couple and terrorizing their two sons. One of the suspects fatally shot Sanders when he fought with the intruders.

Berniard had argued in his appeal that a Superior Court judge improperly allowed certain evidence at trial, but the Washington State Court of Appeals disagreed and upheld the convictions.

Berniard and his co-defendants were convicted in 2011. But an appellate court overturned Berniard’s conviction in June 2014, citing two errors by the trial judge who presided over the case. Berniard was re-convicted in May 2015.