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.