Court upholds ex-football player murder-for-hire conviction

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A federal appeals court has upheld the murder-for-hire conviction of former LSU and Southern University football player Nemessis (nuh-MEE-sis) Bates, nicknamed ''Nemo.''

Bates is serving life after his conviction last year on four federal counts accusing him of hiring hit men to kill a friend who had stolen jewelry and $20,000 cash from him.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction Friday.

Bates is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but was living in Kenner, Louisiana, at the time of the theft and killing in 2010.

Prosecutors said Bates paid two men $10,000 each to kill Christopher ''Tiger'' Smith.

Bates testified that Walter Porter and Aaron Smith acted on their own.

Aaron Smith pleaded guilty in 2013 and testified against Bates and Porter.

Porter was convicted March 10, 2016.

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