Hong Kong court rejects appeal of ‘milkshake murder’ convict

October 6th, 2008 - 11:03 am ICT by IANS  

Hong Kong, Oct 6 (DPA) The wife of a wealthy American investment banker Monday lost her appeal against her life sentence in Hong Kong for killing her husband in the so-called “milkshake murder” case.Nancy Kissel, 44, drugged her husband Robert, a senior Merrill Lynch banker, with a strawberry milkshake then smashed him over the head with a statuette in their luxury Hong Kong apartment in 2003.

Her sensational 2005 trial had all the elements of a Hollywood thriller. It was the highest-profile expatriate criminal case in Hong Kong for years and generated headlines worldwide.

Earlier this year, Kissel appealed against her murder conviction and life sentence, claiming she acted in self-defence after years of physical and sexual assault by her husband.

At a hearing Monday, however, Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal announced in a written judgement that it had rejected her appeal. Her family said they would appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

Speaking outside court, Kissel’s solicitor Simon Clarke described the decision as disappointing but not unexpected, saying that few appeals were successful in Hong Kong.

At her original trial, prosecutors painted Kissel as a cold-blooded killer who sedated her husband with a drug-laced milkshake before bludgeoning him to death with a statuette in November 2003.

She then wrapped his body in a rug and got workmen to unwittingly carry it to a locked storeroom where it was eventually discovered and Kissel was arrested for murder.

The prosecution claimed the murder was planned to avoid a messy divorce so that Nancy Kissel could be with her TV repairman lover, who lived in a trailer park in Vermont in the US.

Kissel, from Michigan, claimed her husband was a drug user who subjected her to years of physical and sexual abuse and claimed she killed him in self-defence when he tried to attack her.

Kissel came to Hong Kong with her husband in 1997. The couple had three young children, all of whom are now in the care of the victim’s family in Seattle.

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