The state’s highest court yesterday overturned the first-degree felony murder conviction of a man who was found guilty of killing his ex-girlfriend’s mother by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire. Lastarandre Bell of Springfield was convicted in 2008 in the death of Julie Ann Nieves. Bell was convicted of arson as well as felony murder in the first-degree. Yesterday, the Supreme Judicial Court reversed Bell’s first-degree felony murder conviction, finding that the judge should have given the jury instructions on second-degree felony murder, based on the arson charge. The court said prosecutors may agree to the lesser conviction or retry Bell. (AP)
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