Hong Kong's 'milkshake murderer' loses bid for final appeal

Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:55am EDT
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By Alice Woodhouse

HONG KONG (Reuters) - American Nancy Kissel, serving a life sentence in a Hong Kong jail for the "milkshake" murder of her Merrill Lynch banker husband, failed in her bid on Thursday for a final appeal against her conviction.

A panel of three judges on the city's Court of Final Appeal rejected Kissel's application - the end of a long legal road that began with her first conviction in 2005.

Kissel, aged 50, attended the hearing in a wheelchair, and reacted stoically to the panel's decision, according to her lawyer.

"She was philosophical about the decision against her," leading counsel Edward Fitzgerald told Reuters. "We, as her lawyers, obviously hoped that we would get leave, but we obviously respect the Court of Final Appeal's decision."

The panel of judges said they would give their reasons later for denying an appeal, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported.

The 2003 murder gripped Hong Kong's business and expatriate communities with its tales of domestic violence, rough sex and adultery that cast a shadow over the high-flying lifestyles of financial professionals in the former British colony.

Kissel has been in jail since 2005 when she was found guilty of murdering her husband after giving him a drug-laced milkshake and then clubbing him to death with a metal ornament in their luxury home. She was convicted for a second time in 2011, following a retrial.

Fitzgerald said it remained a possibility for Kissel to be transferred to the United States to serve her sentence, but that if she remained in Hong Kong he would hope the city's Long-term Review Board would consider her release after 15 years.   Continued...

Nancy Kissel sits in a prison van as she leaves the High Court in Hong Kong March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu