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Murder conviction vacated, Columbia man set for new trial

A Boone County man whose murder conviction was vacated by a judge has been booked back into the Boone County Jail for a new trial.

Anthony Shegog went to trial in 2015 for the 2014 death of Walter Lige in 2014 and was convicted of second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He had been in South Central Correctional Facility in Licking serving the sentence.

Judge Kevin Crane in July vacated the conviction and sentence, ruling that Shegog deserved a new trial because his public defender in the original case was ineffective. The ruling centered on snippets of jailhouse phone call recordings used as evidence during Shegog’s trial. Shegog’s new attorney claimed those snippets were taken out of context and that his trial attorney should have objected to their admission or taken some action against the state’s use of the recordings.

Crane ruled the lack of the defense attorney’s actions on those recordings violated Shegog’s constitutional right to counsel.

Prosecutors claimed that during the jailhouse conversations Shegog spoke of “karma” in regard to Lige’s death and that he didn’t want Lige to “disrespect him in his own home.”

In his ruling, Crane wrote that “when the recording is listened to in its entirety,” it is clear that Shegog and his friend are discussing Shegog’s girlfriend at the time, Diana Barney. Barney was set to be a witness for prosecutors but was hit by a car and killed before the trial.

That out-of-context presentation could have affected the jury’s decision, Crane ruled.

Jennifer Young, the public defender who filed the motion to vacate Shegog’s sentence, did not respond to a message left at her office seeking comment. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight also did not respond to a message seeking comment.

A trial date has not been set. He was in the Boone County Jail on Wednesday on a $1 million bond.

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