Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Court Overturns Conviction

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Court Overturns Conviction

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- A man imprisoned for shooting a Jacksonville

police officer in 1993 hoped to be released after an appeals

court overturned his attempted murder conviction yesterday.

The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled the charge against

Matthew Ray Moody was improperly drawn and must be dismissed.

State Attorney Harry Shorstein said the opinion would allow the

state to file a new charge and retry Moody.

"We will review it and make a decision at the appropriate

time," Shorstein said.

Moody, 29, said by telephone from Walton Correctional

Institution in DeFuniak Springs that he is hopeful for a speedy

release. He is serving a 22-year sentence for shooting Officer

Damon Jameson in the arm and leg while Jameson investigated a

disturbance report outside the Southside home of Moody's

grandparents.

"You don't know the relief that I'm feeling right now," Moody

said yesterday. "I never thought I would see the daylight

outside of this prison."

Moody has been in prison 19 months and spent 13 months in the

Duval County jail awaiting trial. He was convicted of attempted

second-degree murder.

Jameson said he identified himself as a police officer, but

Moody said he didn't hear him. Moody said he was staying with

his grandparents because they had trouble with burglars and he

opened fire with a semi-automathic rifle when he saw Jameson

near the garage.

Jameson said yesterday that he hadn't heard about the ruling.

He declined to comment until he had a chance to consult with the

State Attorney's Office.

But the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Gary Evans,

said he was "astounded that the court would overturn something

on such a minute technicality."

"I guess we go back and retry the whole case again," he said.

"It doesn't bode well for the criminal justice system to adopt

such a position. …

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