East Texas woman awaiting new murder trial released on bond

East Texas woman awaiting new murder trial released on bond
Deborah McFadden Smiley

PANOLA COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas woman, whose murder conviction was sent back to a district court to a faulty jury charge, was released on bond on Wednesday.

Deborah Smiley McFadden was released on $5,000 bond with conditions in a Panola County courtroom.

McFadden was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison on Feb. 17, 2017. She was accused of killing her then-boyfriend on Oct. 12, 2003. The 6th court of appeals sent her conviction back to the Panola County district court in January 2018, citing a faulty jury charge.

The state appealed the 6th court’s ruling in April and the state Supreme Court of Appeals issued its ruling backing up the 6th court’s on Sept. 20, 2018.

Judge LeAnn Rafferty stated McFadden has never missed a court date. Her bond is with conditions, including no firearms. McFadden will also be subject to drug and alcohol testing and is restricted from traveling.

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