Missouri high court orders judge off death row case

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | 5:17 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The state Supreme Court has ordered a southeast Missouri judge to step aside from a case involving a death row inmate because of the appearance of impropriety.

The high court ruled Tuesday that Cape Girardeau County Circuit Judge William Syler must recuse himself from hearing a motion for a new sentencing hearing for Terrance Anderson.

Anderson was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2001 shootings of Debbie and Stephen Rainwater, who were the grandparents of his child. He was sentenced to death for Debbie Rainwater's slaying.

Anderson recently sought a new sentencing hearing from Syler.

The Supreme Court said Syler made comments in court about a personal conversation with the jury foreman. The high court said that could be viewed as improper and Syler should no longer preside over the case.

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