Nebraska man convicted, sentenced to life for grandson's beating death to get new trial

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OMAHA, Nebraska — The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of beating his grandson to death.

Peter Draper, of Naponee, was found guilty last May of two child abuse counts in the April 2012 death of 2-year-old Joseph Rinehart Jr. and sentenced to a minimum of 109 years in prison.

Draper appealed, saying the trial court should not have allowed his wife to be called as a witness by prosecutors.

On Friday, the high court sided with Draper, noting that his wife, Nancy Draper, invoked her right against self-incrimination on the stand. The high court also noted that prosecutors asked her several leading questions implicating Peter Draper in the death and that the trial judge refused to instruct the jury to disregard his wife's testimony.

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