Court says temple killings confession involuntary

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal appeals court has ruled that a teenager's confession to nine killings at a Buddhist temple near Phoenix was involuntary, agreeing with a smaller panel's earlier decision.

The Thursday ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns the confession of then 17-year-old Jonathan Doody in the 1991 killings.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office can ask the Supreme Court to review the case or decide to retry Doody without the alleged confession.

Doody has spent the past 18-some years in prison. He was sentenced to serve 281 years for the slayings of six priests, a nun and two helpers during a robbery at the Wat Promkunaram temple west of Phoenix.

Doody's attorney, Victoria Eiger, says the decision is a major victory for her client.