PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – An appeals court has overturned a decision that granted a new trial to a Detroit-area teacher who hacked her husband to death before she went to school.

A federal judge in 2010 said Nancy Seaman’s attorney didn’t do enough to develop her claim as a battered spouse. But the appeals court this week said the judge’s view of the case was too broad.

Seaman killed her husband, Robert, in 2004 by striking him with a hatchet 16 times and stabbing him at least 21 times in their garage in Farmington Hills. The 60-year-old is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Seaman took elaborate steps to cover up her crime including wrapping the body in a tarp, painting walls and bleaching the garage floor where the killing took place.

The appeals court noted that Seaman’s trial attorney presented experts who talked about battered spouse syndrome and had argued for such a defense. The court said the defense is limited under Michigan law.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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