Court reverses Navajo man's murder convictions
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reversed the murder convictions of Navajo Nation man but said he will remain in prison on other charges.

Kenderick Begay was sentenced to two concurrent life terms plus 35 years in prison after being convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Begay shot and killed two Navajo high school students in March 2002

But the 9th Circuit said the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona failed to show Begay acted with premeditation -- "an essential element of first-degree murder." "As an initial matter, we emphasize that, as the government expressly concedes, there is no evidence of any motive in this case, nor is there any evidence that Begay had a prior relationship with the victims," the court said.

However, the court upheld Begay's conviction on the two firearms counts. Begay was sentenced in October 2007.

9th Circuit Decision:
Begay v. US (June 1, 2009)