Supreme Court Overturns Ames Man's Conviction

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the drug death case conviction of an Ames man.

The Des Moines Register says Marcus Burrage had been given 20 years in prison for selling heroin in April 2010 to a Nevada man who later died.

Burrage's attorney had said the trial judge improperly instructed the jury about what was necessary to prove Burrage guilty of causing the death of Joshua Banka.

In the opinion issued Monday, the high court found that a conviction based only on "contributing cause" does not meet the regular "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard needed to convict a person in criminal court.

The court says Burrage's conviction for distribution of heroin will stand and he'll be subject to minimum sentencing requirements on that charge.
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