COPY-Court upholds conviction in witness' slaying - - Jackson, MS

Court upholds conviction in witness' slaying

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JACKSON, MS (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of Joe Lewis Collins, who allegedly killed a government witness.

Collins was convicted and sentenced him to life in prison in 2008 on federal murder and conspiracy charges in the death of Clovis Reed. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction Tuesday.

Reed's body was found April 4, 2003, in Simpson County a week before she was to testify in an embezzlement case related to money Reed received from a lawsuit on behalf of black farmers.

Prosecutors said Reed was killed to prevent her from testifying that two sisters, Kathleen Nelson and Levon Edmond, embezzled her $50,000 settlement check.

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