Court affirms conviction of man who claimed PTSD

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man who blamed post-traumatic stress disorder from the Vietnam War when he fatally shot his neighbor has lost an appeal of his murder conviction.

There is no dispute that James Traxler Jr. shot Michael Boynton in Newaygo County in 2011 while the victim was on a riding lawnmower.

A few weeks earlier, Traxler and Boynton had an argument while drinking several beers. Traxler was knocked unconscious, and he wanted his neighbor to pay his medical bills.

Traxler's attorney at the appeals court argued that the prosecutor's mental-health expert relied on incomplete information and the testimony should have been ruled out. The court disagreed in a 3-0 opinion released Friday.

The 64-year-old Traxler is serving a minimum prison sentence of 22 years.

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