COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The first man sentenced to death in South Carolina for killing an unborn child is set to be released from prison.

Department of Corrections spokesman Clark Newsom said Tuesday that officials were working to get 41-year-old Joseph Ard released from prison this week.

Ard was sentenced to death in 1996 after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend and their unborn child. Authorities said Ard shot Madalyn Coffey to death, and their baby suffocated minutes later.

In 2007 the state Supreme Court ruled Ard would get a new trial because his attorneys failed to challenge one of the state’s expert witnesses against him.

Last week, a jury found Ard guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to time served and will be set free once his paperwork is processed.


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