Conviction of former Keith County Attorney overturned

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ The Nebraska Supreme Court has overturned a theft conviction for former Keith County Attorney Blake Edwards.

Edwards was accused of misappropriating money that came from fees for a county drug diversion program he had set up and controlled as the county's top prosecutor. He was convicted last year of one count of theft and sentenced the three years of probation.

Both Edwards and the state appealed. The state argued Edwards' sentence was too lenient. Edwards argued, among other things, that a jury instruction that said he ``must prove all of the elements'' of his defense or be found guilty erroneously put the burden of proof on him.

On Friday, the state's high court agreed with Edwards, saying prosecutors carry the burden to prove all elements of the crime charged.

© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information