Appeals court orders new trial in child beating death case

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington appeals court has ordered a new trial for an Oroville-area man who was convicted in the beating death of his wife's 22-month-old son in 2005.

The Court of Appeals said Jon DeVon's right to a public trial was violated during the jury selection process.

DeVon was convicted in 2006 of homicide by abuse. His wife was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

DeVon appealed, claiming his right to a fair trial was violated when the trial court allowed individual questioning of jurors in the judge's chambers.

The appeals court agreed, saying the trial court failed to consider a list of factors before questioning the prospective jurors in a closed room. They said a defendant's right to a fair trial applies to jury selection.