WTVA-TV reports that Glen Wayne Hawkins was convicted in 2010 of depraved heart murder in the death of Rita Fair at the home the two shared in Aberdeen. Fair was beaten to death.
In his appeal, Hawkins claimed the evidence didn't support the conviction and the jury was confused about the difference between manslaughter and murder due to not being properly explained the difference between the two charges.
Two justices said the circumstances in the case could have justified a manslaughter charge instead of murder.
Depraved-heart murder is a legal term for an action that demonstrates a "callous disregard for human life" and results in death.