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OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A man facing up to a decade in prison for spitting in the face of a deputy jailer will go free after a Kentucky appeals court vacated his conviction.

The Messenger-Enquirer of Owensboro reports 25-year-old Michael D. Padgett had been convicted of felony assault and sentenced to one year in prison for the 2014 incident in which he spat on a deputy jailer who was trying to restrain him. Because Padgett already had two felony convictions, he was a “persistent felony offender” and his sentence was increased to 10 years.

Padgett was tried twice for the crime. A state appeals court ruled Friday a judge was wrong to declare a mistrial in Padgett’s first trial, meaning the second trial was improper. The court ruled Padgett could not be tried again.


Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer,