New trial ordered for Black man whose jury deliberated in room with Confederate flag

A Black man’s criminal conviction was overturned in Tennessee after an appeals court said the jury, which deliberated in a room adorned with a Confederate flag and a portrait of Jefferson Davis, had been “exposed” to “improper influence.”

In a 31-page decision issued Friday, the state’s criminal court of appeals ordered a new trial for the man, Tim Gilbert.

The court also ruled that during Gilbert’s trial, prosecutors improperly admitted a statement from a key witness.

Gilbert was arrested after a family dispute on Christmas Eve three years ago in Murfreesboro, southeast of Nashville, according to the decision. A grand jury indicted him the following April on charges of reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm and resisting arrest, and he was convicted in a jury trial last year.

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