Supreme Court overturns conviction of man who shot owner of down - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Supreme Court overturns conviction of man who shot owner of downtown Chinese restaurant

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LOUISVILLE, KY., (WDRB) -- The conviction of a man in the 2010 shooting of a downtown Chinese restaurant owner has been overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Stephen Ricardo Sykes was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the robbery and shooting at the China Wok, located in the Hazelwood strip mall downtown.

The Kentucky Supreme Court last week ruled that Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Charles Cunningham erred by improperly allowing Sykes' confession to be redacted, excluding for the jury a part where Sykes said he didn't mean to shoot the restaurant owner.

During the closing arguments, a prosecutor replayed the redacted confession to police and argued that it demonstrated Sykes' intent to kill. In the full confession, however, a detective asked Sykes if he was trying to kill the victim. Sykes responded, “No sir. I didn't even mean to shoot the gun.”

During the May 10, 2010, robbery, China Wok owner Xiang Lin was shot in the chest and abdomen. He was seriously injured but survived.

Sykes was convicted of attempted murder, “a charge where proving intent to kill is paramount,” according to the Feb. 19, Supreme Court ruling.

The high court has sent the case back to Judge Cunningham.

In 2013, Sykes pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of another man. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

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