Missouri court tosses man’s convictions in double killing

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Thomas Oates III

CLAYTON, Mo. – A Missouri appellate court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted last year and sentenced to 15 years in prison for the admitted 2014 shooting deaths of a man and teenage girl near St. Louis.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday the trial judge wrongly precluded jurors who convicted Thomas Oates III of two counts of second-degree felony murder from weighing whether he acted in self-defense, as he claimed.

Jurors also found Oates guilty of two counts of armed criminal action. He was sentenced to 15-year terms on one murder count and 10 years on the other, along with five-year stints for the other charges. The sentences were ordered to be served simultaneously.

A message Friday with the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office wasn’t immediately returned.