MOUNT HOLLY — An appeals court has ordered a new trial for a man named Supreme Life, who was convicted of stabbing shortly after the Philadelphia Eagles won the 2018 Super Bowl.
The court cited that an assistant prosecutor had repeatedly called the defendant a liar and also cited errors in the judge’s instructions to the jury.
Supreme Life, 60, of Lumberton, was sentenced to 20 years after being convicted of manslaughter in March 2019 in Burlington County for impassioned provocation in the death of Moriah Walker, 26, of Brooklyn, and the attempted murder of another New Yorker was.
Leben, formerly known as Charles Hoskins, testified that he teased his son, a Dallas Cowboys fan, when people outside were celebrating the Eagles’ win in February 2018, and his son responded with an epithet about the Eagles. He said two New York men leaving a nearby party heard the remark and attacked his son, and that he acted in self-defense.
At the trial, Life admitted to lying in a statement to police, and the appeals court said that was fair game for prosecutors to point it out. But the court said the prosecutor’s repeated use of “derogatory epithets” was inappropriate and that Life’s constant labeling of a liar had tipped the scales of justice against him.
The court also criticized the judge’s omission of certain instructions on how the jury might construe self-defense in relation to manslaughter.
“The combination of errors in this case, combined with the prosecutor’s improper summing up, necessitates the overturning of the defendant’s conviction,” the court said in a decision issued Thursday.
A spokesman for the district attorney’s office told Nj.com on Thursday that the decision would be reviewed.