By MEG KINNARD
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's highest court has reinstated a life sentence for a Charleston man convicted of raping and killing a neighbor.
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that an appeals court should not have ordered a new trial for 31-year-old Jarod Tapp.
Tapp was convicted in 2005 of the rape and murder of Julie Jett. Prosecutors said Tapp attacked the 25-year-old in her apartment.
The state Court of Appeals in 2009 ordered a new trial for Tapp, ruling that a prosecution witness on crime analysis should not have been allowed to testify about a range of things unrelated to the case, like torture and drug-related homicides.
The justices said Wednesday that the trial judge should not have allowed the testimony but that it didn't directly affect the outcome.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.