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posted: 9/11/2012 8:44 AM

New trial under way for man in girlfriend's death

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Associated Press

EDWARDSVILLE -- A trial is under way in southwestern Illinois for a man who successfully argued on appeal that he didn't get a harsh enough sentence in the shotgun killing of his girlfriend.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 51-year-old Brian Pinkus acknowledges he killed Sharon Reynolds in 2004 in Granite City, although he says it was an accident.

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After he'd pleaded guilty, Pinkus argued on appeal that his trial attorney wasn't effective, that he was intoxicated when he confessed to the shooting and that he was on psychotropic drugs when he entered his plea.

When none of that worked, he convinced an Illinois appellate court that his 20-year prison sentence on the murder charge also should have included a 25-year term for firearm use. That got him a new trial.

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