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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man has been granted a third trial in what authorities called an arson in a Philadelphia home that killed his two young sons three decades ago.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the three-judge Superior Court panel’s ruling came Tuesday in the case of 57-year-old Daniel Dougherty in the 1985 deaths of 4-year-old Daniel and 3-year-old John.

The court cited use of prior expert testimony and a photograph of the children as well as testimony on unrelated accusations.

Dougherty says he awoke to see the house ablaze, ran outside and then tried to save his sons. Defense attorneys say advances in fire science mean the cause should have been classified undetermined.

Dougherty was sentenced to death after his first convictions but that was reduced to a life sentence in 2012.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,