Former Portsmouth Officer’s appeal moves forward

Former Portsmouth police officer Stephen Rankin takes the stand in his first-degree murder trial on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. Credit WAVY-TV 10.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A court of appeals three-judge panel granted a petition for two of the five issues that Stephen Rankin’s defense team filed last month, his defense team confirmed to 10 On Your Side Tuesday.

Full Coverage: Stephen Rankin Trial

The two issues involve Judge Johnny Morrison denying the defense team’s expert witness the ability to testify on ‘use of force’ doctrine and alleged juror misconduct.

Rankin’s defense team will now present a brief back to the court of appeals regarding the two issues above.

The Virginia Attorney General will respond to those briefs.

The office can either concede error or argue against.

If the Attorney General concedes error, it could lead to a new trial allowing for the expert testimony.

10 On Your Side will bring you any new developments in the case.