March 11, 2014
A federal appeals court again threw out the convictions of former Virginia neurologist Ray Mettetal Junior.
A three-judge panel in Richmond said Wednesday that the evidence used to convict Mettetal of plotting to poison his former boss at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, was illegally seized.
Mettetal is a former Harrisonburg doctor who also trained at the University of Virginia.
A jury first convicted Mettetal in 1998 and again last year of possessing the toxin, ricin, to use as a weapon and of having fake identifications.
The panel said Mettetal's arrest in Nashville was illegal. Virginia investigators later found the toxin and other evidence in a storage unit in Harrisonburg.
Mettetal served his prison sentence, imposed earlier this year, and is living in Tennessee.