HONG KONG (WWJ/AP) – Hong Kong’s top court on Thursday rejected a final bid for an appeal by an American convicted of drugging her wealthy banker husband and bashing him to death.
A three-judge panel at the Court of Final Appeal dismissed Nancy Kissel’s application.
Kissel was convicted twice for the 2003 murder of her husband, Robert Kissel, who worked for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. She was sentenced to life in 2012, matching the result of an earlier trial that was overturned.
The case, dubbed the “Milkshake Murder,” grabbed world headlines with its lurid tale of the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate marriage in the southern Chinese financial hub.
Prosecutors said that Kissel, a native of Adrian, Michigan, gave her husband a sedative-laced milkshake and then bludgeoned him with a metal ornament before wrapping his body up in a carpet. Evidence on Kissel’s computer showed she had searched the Internet for heart-attack inducing drugs and sleeping pills.
Prosecutors argued that Kissel stood to gain up to $18 million in her husband’s death, and that she planned to run away with a TV repairman with whom she was having an affair.
The defense had argued she was suffering from clinical depression and was acting under diminished responsibility. Kissel said she killed her husband in self-defense after he attacked her with a baseball bat and tried to rape her.
Nancy Kissel told a jury in her Feb. 2011 testimony that Robert Kissel’s behavior changed after she had the first of the couple’s three children in 1994, and he started forcing her to have oral and anal sex while becoming more emotionally distant and absorbed in his work as an investment banker.
The case has spawned at least two books and a TV special.
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