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Appeals Court Upholds Conviction In Cyanide Poisoning Case

Keith Srakocic
In this Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, Dr. Robert Ferrante, center, is escorted by Allegheny County Sheriff deputies during jury selection for his trial on charges of the 2013 killing of his neurologist wife with cyanide in Pittsburgh.

 An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former University of Pittsburgh medical researcher in what prosecutors said was the cyanide poisoning death of his wife in 2013.

Defense attorneys had asked the Pennsylvania Superior Court for a new trial for 69-year-old Robert Ferrante, who was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2014 and is serving life without parole.

Allegheny County prosecutors said he killed 41-year-old Autumn Klein by putting cyanide in her energy drink, which text messages show he urged her to drink to enhance fertility.

Defense attorney Chris Eyster cited transplant of Klein's liver, something he said poisoning would have precluded. But the appeals court said Thursday that the transplant was cited earlier and wasn't new evidence.

Eyster vowed an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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