Woman cleared in '95 slaying of Battle Creek bartender - WNEM TV 5

Woman cleared in '95 slaying of Battle Creek bartender

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BATTLE CREEK, MI (AP) -

A federal appeals court has overturned the murder conviction of a woman who was accused of stabbing a bartender in the basement of a Battle Creek tavern in 1995.

In a 3-0 decision Tuesday, the court says a "rational jury" should have found plenty of reasonable doubt, especially because blood found on the victim's clothing didn't belong to Hattie Mae Tanner.

Tanner, now 57 years old, has been in prison since 2000. There's no dispute that her DNA wasn't on the victim. Sharon Watson was fatally stabbed after closing Barney's Bar for the night. Police believed it was a robbery.

Tanner says she was in the bar parking lot that night but only while a friend was inside trying to cash a check.

Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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