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Murder conspiracy convictions in '03 case overturned again

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The Court of Appeals Tuesday overturned murder-conspiracy convictions of two men involved in what judges called a "revenge-type shooting spree," setting the 2003 case up for a third trial.

Darnell Fields, 33, and Clayton Colkley, 37, were first convicted in 2005 and again in 2010 after the Court of Special Appeals threw out the first round of verdicts. Fields and Colkley are accused in the murder of James Bowens and an attempt to kill William Courts, who was shot ten times but survived.

Fields and Colkley appealed their second convictions on the grounds that two city judges had improperly handled their lawyers' attempts to get internal affairs files on two detectives involved in the case.

The Court of Appeals agreed, finding that the defense teams should have been able to review the records, which related to findings that the detectives had submitted fraudulent overtime slips.

Tony Garcia, Colkley's attorney, said the ruling was a reminder that police should be treated just like other witnesses.

"The state should be on the same playing field as everyone else," he said.

The Attorney General's office, which handled the appeal for the state, declined to comment on the ruling.

iduncan@baltsun.com

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