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Monday, July 28 2014 @ 06:17 AM EDT

Supreme Court Overturns Murder Conviction Against American Expatriate in Panama

Expat TalesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I just found out the Panamanian Supreme Court of Justice overturned the August 2011 first degree murder conviction of American expatriate Ron McGrew. I was first notified by email, and then I picked up the phone and called Ron to confirm the news. The lower court had sentenced McGrew to five years in prison, and his second lawyer filed an appeal after the first lawyer failed to file within the specified time period. Today Ron's lawyers called him to say the Supreme Court had decided a motion in his favor, the conviction had been overturned, there would be no new trial, and all charges had been dropped. Ron just got this news today. So far he has not received a copy of the Supreme Court decision, and he has a meeting scheduled with his lawyers for tomorrow morning.

What Happened: Ron McGrew left his house with a shotgun to investigate a report that a local drug addict was breaking into a neighbor's home. The neighbor was traveling, and had asked Ron to keep an eye on things. The burglar had a machete and Ron shot him with the shotgun, which pierced a vital organ, and the man died. Ron's mistake was leaving his own house with the shotgun - if he had killed a robber in his own home no one would have batted an eye. In any case, this most recent decision by the Supreme Court goes a long way to restore some faith in the Panamanian justice system, such as it is.

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Copyright 2012 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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