Lay Conviction Vacated

A federal judge in Houston has vacated the conviction of Enron founder Kenneth Lay. The decision comes nearly three and a-half months after Lay died of heart disease while vacationing in Colorado.

Lay had been convicted of fraud and conspiracy in connection with the company's collapse.

Since his death, his lawyers argued that his convictions would have to be erased. They cited a federal appeals court ruling that found that if a defendant died while his appeal was pending, the entire case was wiped out because he hadn't had a full opportunity to challenge the conviction.

Tuesday, a judge in Houston agreed.

Lay's co-defendant, former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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