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Ex-Principal in Va. Loses Murder Conviction Appeal

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(Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

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BEDFORD, Va. — A Virginia appeals panel has rejected the appeal of a former high school administrator convicted of killing his wife.

Media outlets report that a three-judge panel of the Virginia Court of Appeals upheld Wesley Earnest’s conviction and life sentence on Tuesday.

Earnest argued that the testimony of an expert witness should have been allowed at his trial to question the state’s fingerprint analysis.

The appeals panel says the witness’ expertise lay in an academic evaluation of various studies of fingerprint analysis and her testimony would be hearsay.

Earnest was convicted of first-degree murder in January 2010. Prosecutors say he fatally shot his estranged wife, Jocelyn, in 2007, at her Forest home.

Jocelyn Earnest graduated from West Virginia University and was a member of the Mountaineer women’s basketball team.

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(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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