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Nebraska Court Orders New Trial for Wyoming Man

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has again thrown out the conviction of Wyoming man accused of posing as a licensed car dealer and ordered a new trial in the case.

Thomas Merchant, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, has twice been convicted of being an unlicensed dealer after prosecutors said Merchant bought 19 vehicles from the Nebraska Auto Auction in June 2011. The business said the checks Merchant wrote for the vehicles bounced, and that Merchant included a fake dealer’s license number on paperwork that also indicated Merchant was a “wholesale” dealer.

His first conviction was reversed last year because of improperly admitted evidence. He was again tried and convicted and sentenced to 12 to 26 years in prison.

On Friday, the Nebraska high court vacated his second conviction, citing faulty jury instructions.

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