LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A justice of the state Supreme Court has granted a new
murder trial for former Hawaii quarterback Raphel Cherry.
Cherry, 37, of
Jacksonville, was sentenced to life in prison last August for the Dec. 22,
1998, death of his estranged wife, Jerri Cherry, 25.
Pulaski County Circuit
Judge Marion Humphrey ordered a new trial in September after jurors admitted
they talked about the case before deliberations that convicted Cherry of
The state asked the trial court to reconsider the decision, but the
request was denied. The state then appealed to the Supreme Court.
Donald L. Corbin on Friday allowed the decision to stand, saying Cherry is to
be retried within the next year. Humphrey had said he was troubled that jurors
apparently violated his instructions against talking about the case.
Prosecutors said none of the jurors said they had reached a conclusion before
On Aug. 26, jurors deliberated 90 minutes after a two-day
trial and found Cherry guilty in his wife’s death.
Mrs. Cherry had filed
for divorce two months before her death after a contentious relationship that
included a paternity suit in 1996 and marriage in 1997. The morning of her
death, her divorce attorney had served a subpoena for financial information
about Cherry’s National Football League pension and salary.
his career as Hawaii’s passing leader with 5,046 yards, breaking 22 school
records. In 1983 and 1984, he was chosen as the team’s most valuable player. He
also played in the 1985 Hula Bowl.