Informant’s credibility questioned during murder case hearing

Floyd Lavender III and Michael Gaines

A county Superior Court judge on Monday granted a motion for a new trial for Floyd Lavender III and Michael Gaines, both of whom were convicted in 2010 of the 2003 murder of Palm Desert teenager Courtney Bowser.

In granting a new trial, Judge William Lehman ruled that the jurors had engaged in misconduct after discussing the fact that neither defendant testified at trial, and how their presumed guilt could be inferred from their refusal to testify, said Nicholas Rosenberg, an attorney who is currently representing Lavender.

Staff Writer Julio Morales can be reached at or 760-337-3415.

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