American expat jailed for 'milkshake murder' to ask judge to stop retrial, dismiss case
HONG KONG – HONG KONG (AP) — The expatriate American housewife who won a retrial after being convicted of murdering of her banker husband in Hong Kong with a drugged milkshake and a blow to the head will ask a judge to dismiss the case against her, a lawyer said Thursday.
Nancy Kissel was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder in September 2005. But Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal ordered a retrial in March, saying that she was improperly cross-examined and that the trial judge wrongly allowed hearsay evidence.
Now Kissel wants to kill the retrial. The Adrian, Michigan native plans to apply for a permanent stay in proceedings, arguing that the bad publicity she has received will affect the fairness of the retrial, her lawyer Derek Chan said. A Hong Kong court is scheduled to hear arguments on the application for four days starting on Nov. 1, he said.
If the move is successful, Kissel will be immediately released. She has chosen not to apply for bail since her retrial was ordered. If it is rejected, the retrial will go ahead on Jan. 10, Chan said.
Calls to Hong Kong's Justice Department went unanswered and the department didn't immediately respond to an e-mail.
The first trial grabbed headlines around the world with its juicy detail on the breakdown of a wealthy expatriate marriage in this southern Chinese financial hub, spawning two books and a TV special.
Prosecutors alleged that Kissel carefully plotted her husband Robert's murder in November 2003, first drugging him with a milkshake laced with sedatives and then bludgeoning his head with a metal ornament. Kissel said she killed her husband in self-defense after he attacked her with a baseball bat and tried to rape her.
While prosecutors portrayed Robert as a loving father, his wife said the former investment banker for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch was a heavy drinker and cocaine user who was frequently sexually abusive. She also acknowledged having an affair with an electrician who worked at the couple's vacation home in Vermont.
Former British colony Hong Kong maintains separate political, economic and legal systems from mainland China as part of its special semiautonomous status.