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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to rule on Brown County man's capital murder conviction

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BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is now looking over the case of a 58-year-old Brown County man found guilty of capital murder in 2014 after the state appealed his overturned conviction.

Last year the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland reversed Lanny Bush's capital murder conviction and ordered that he be re-sentenced, according to court documents. But in February, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals accepted the state's request to revisit the lower appeals court's ruling.

Bush is currently serving life without parole in the Mark Michael Prison Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. A jury convicted and sentenced Bush in 2012 for murdering Michele Reiter.

The pair had just ended a relationship prior to the murder.

Brown County investigators said the 38-year-old's body was discovered in Coleman County on Sept. 24, 2012, two weeks after her roommate reported the Brownwood woman missing.

Since her remains were found in Coleman County, Bush was tried in the 42nd Judicial District Court with assistance from 35th Judicial District Attorney Micheal Murray and his prosecutors.

State prosecutors at the time argued Bush committed capital murder because he kidnapped Reiter before her death.

The court of appeals in Eastland ruled that there wasn't sufficient evidence for the capital murder charge based on kidnapping, but kept the murder conviction, according to court documents.

But Brown and Coleman county prosecutors wrote in a joint brief in February that the 11th Court of Appeals "erred in finding the evidence insufficient to support" Bush's capital murder conviction.

On April 17 the court of criminal appeals accepted the brief filed by Bush's court-appointed attorney Patrick Howard.

Howard asked that the higher appeals court to uphold the lower court's ruling on finding the insufficient evidence for a capital murder conviction.

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