Utah High Court Tosses Conviction of 'Wedgie' Killer

The Utah Supreme Court Tuesday threw out the manslaughter conviction of a man who shot a man to death after the victim gave him a "wedgie."

Erik Kurtis Low, 40, was convicted of the 2003 shooting death of Michael Jon Hirschey, 38, after a night of drinking, drug use and horseplay in the victim's Park City apartment, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

On the night of the shooting, Hirschey teased, manhandled and threatened Low while the men and two others were using cocaine, according to court records cited by the paper.

In the early morning hours of May 8, 2003, Hirschey reportedly yanked Low's underwear so hard it pulled him off his feet, prompting Low to shoot Hirschey in the head and shoulder 15 seconds later, the paper said.

During Low's first murder trial in 2005, the jury deadlocked, the Tribune said. Low was convicted in a second trial on manslaughter and sentenced to up to 16 years in prison. He had claimed self defense.

The Utah Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to be instructed that they could convict Low on a lesser charge, the paper said.

The court said Tuesday that prosecutors could not retry Low for murder, extreme emotional distress manslaughter or imperfect self-defense manslaughter, the Tribune said. They can try him on other forms of manslaughter or lesser offenses, according to the paper.

Click here to read the full report at the Salt Lake Tribune.