Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
D.C.
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Mass.
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
N.Carolina
N.Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
S.Carolina
S.Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
W.Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Law Firm Website Design Companies : The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man accused of killing his wife and then faking an all-terrain vehicle accident to cover up the slaying almost a decade ago.

The state’s highest court ruled 5-2 Friday that 48-year-old Joseph Fitzpatrick III might not have been convicted of first-degree murder in York County in 2015 without the admission into evidence of a note from his wife which the court called inadmissible hearsay that injected “significant prejudice” into the trial, the York Daily Record reported.

Fitzpatrick was accused of having drowned 43-year-old Annemarie Fitzpatrick in a Chanceford Township creek in June 2012 and then telling police they crashed their ATV in the water. Authorities alleged that he wanted out of his marriage, was emotionally involved with another woman and had a $1.7 million life insurance policy on his wife.

Hours before her death, prosecutors have said, Annemarie Fitzpatrick wrote, dated and signed a note in her day-planner at work saying “If anything happens to me — Joe.” She also wrote an email to herself titled “if something happens to me” saying the couple had marital problems and a huge log had almost fallen on her the night before.

“Joe was on the pile with the log and had me untying a tarp directly below,” the email said, according to prosecutors.

The trial judge, in a rare move, set aside the jury verdict, saying prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to support a conviction. The Pennsylvania Superior Court reinstated the conviction, saying the note was allowed as evidence to show the victim’s state of mind, an exception to the hearsay rule. The court said the email wasn’t admissible but ruled that its admission was harmless “in light of the overwhelming evidence against Fitzpatrick.”

In a 47-page opinion for the high court’s majority, Justice David Wecht said the note not only reflected the woman’s fear but also asserted that her husband would be responsible “if something untoward or violent happened to her.” Offering the note as proof of that would be inadmissible hearsay, and Wecht said it was offered “and repeatedly highlighted” to “establish the truth of the matters asserted therein.”

“The remaining evidence simply was not so overwhelming so as to overcome the note’s enormous impact,” Wecht said. “Accordingly, the admission of the note cannot be deemed harmless.”

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy said the note could have been allowed to show that the defendant’s wife feared him, if the judge read a limiting instruction to the jury, but she would have upheld the conviction even though that was not done.

Legal News | Breaking News | Terms & Conditions | Privacy

ⓒ Breaking Legal News. All Rights Reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by BLN as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case. Small Law Firm Web Design by Law Promo Website Design
   More Legal News
   Legal Spotlight
   Exclusive Commentaries
   Attorney & Blog - Blog Watch
   Law Firm News  1  2  3  4  5  6 
   Lawyer & Law Firm Links
San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
San Francisco Copyright Lawyer
www.onulawfirm.com
Gurnee IL bankruptcy attorneys
Credit card debt lawyer
bankruptcylawchicago.com
New York Dental Malpractice Attorney
DUI Lawyer
dentalmalpracticenewyork.com
Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Indianapolis Medical Malpractice
www.williamspiatt.com
Surry County Criminal Defense Lawyers
Yadkin County Family Law Attorneys
www.dirussolaw.com
Oregon DUI Law Attorney
Eugene DUI Lawyer. Criminal Defense Law
www.mjmlawoffice.com
New York Adoption Lawyers
New York Foster Care Lawyers
Adoption Pre-Certification
www.lawrsm.com
Chicago, DuPage IL Workers' Compensation Lawyers
Chicago Workplace Injury Attorneys
www.krol-law.com
St. Louis Missouri Criminal Defense Lawyer
St. Charles DUI Attorney
www.lynchlawonline.com
Lorain Elyria Divorce Lawyer
www.loraindivorceattorney.com
Connecticut Special Education Lawyer
www.fortelawgroup.com
   More Legal News  1  2  3  4  5  6
   Legal News Links
  Click The Law
  Daily Bar News
  The Legal Voice
  The Legal Report
  Legal News Post
  Crisis Legal News
  Legal News Journal
  Korean Web Agency
  Law Firm Directory