DETROIT (AP) — A man convicted of murder in a 1994 robbery in Romulus is expected to get a new trial after the U.S. Supreme Court declined yesterday to consider an appeal from prosecutors in the case.

Prosecutors wanted the justices to decide whether a lower court was wrong to throw out Clarence Scott’s conviction in the death of Elwin Lilley. The 54-year-old was fatally shot in a McDonald’s parking lot while he waited to pick up his elderly mother from Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The Supreme Court refused without comment to hear the appeal.

Scott, now 43, was sentenced in 1995 to life in prison without parole after his first-degree murder conviction. Isaac Collier Jr., now 36, was sentenced to life with the chance of parole for second-degree murder in the pair’s joint trial. Both remain in prison.

Tom Chambers, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor who handled the appeal, said he was disappointed that the court declined to decide the issue. But he said prosecutors are confident Scott will be convicted.

“Now it’s just a matter of trying the man again for first-degree murder,” Chambers said.

Cleveland lawyer Andrew Cox, whose firm was assigned to handle arguments on behalf of Scott, said the case didn’t present an unusual question of constitutional law, and he wasn’t surprised the court declined to hear the appeal.

Prosecutors said the Detroit men were cruising the Romulus area looking for someone to rob in April 1994 when they found Lillie sitting in a car outside the McDonald’s. When Lillie, of the Osceola County community of Evart, resisted their attempt to rob him, prosecutors said Scott shot him through the window.

Scott had challenged his murder conviction, claiming that his constitutional right to confront his accuser under the Sixth Amendment was violated when prosecutors introduced an incriminating statement from Collier, who later decided not to testify.

In 2003, U.S. District Court Judge David Lawson agreed and ordered Michigan to either grant Scott a new trial or release him. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati affirmed the decision last year.

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