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Death sentence is tossed in wife's 1986 murder

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A federal appeals court Wednesday threw out a former insurance salesman's death sentence for arranging his wife's murder 22 years ago in a case that was the subject of a true-crime book and a TV miniseries.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia found that Robert O. Marshall's lawyer did not adequately represent him during the death penalty phase that followed his 1986 conviction. The court ordered that he receive a new death penalty hearing or a life sentence.

Marshall was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill his wife at a dark Garden State Parkway rest stop so he could continue an affair with another woman. His tale became the subject of a best-selling book by Joe McGinnis, "Blind Faith," and a miniseries of the same name.