Expatriate, Convicted of Killing Husband in Hong Kong, Asks for Case to Be Dismissed

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An American housewife who was convicted of murdering her husband in Hong Kong, but who won a retrial, is now asking the judge in the case to dismiss all charges against her, according to her attorney.

Nancy Kissel was convicted in 2005 of the murder of her husband Robert, an investment banker who was a vice president in Goldman Sachs’ Asian division. The Kissel family had expatriated to Hong Kong in 1997. Kissel claimed in her defense that she had been subjected to sexual, physical and verbal abuse by her husband, a heavy drinker and cocaine addict, and said that on the night of his death, on November 2nd, 2003, the two had been struggling and arguing. After attempting to forcibly rape and sodomize her, said Nancy Kissel, Robert Kissel came after his wife with a baseball bat, saying, “I’m going to kill you, bitch.”

Kissel gave her husband a strawberry milkshake laced with sedatives, rendering him unconscious, then delivered five blows to his head with a heavy metal ornament, killing him. His decomposing body, wrapped in a rug and stashed in a storeroom of their apartment building, was found five days later. Nancy Kissel, who claimed at her trial that she could not remember striking her husband, was nevertheless found to have taken steps to cover up the crime, including ordering new bedsheets to replace the bloodied ones, having the storeroom cleaned out, and sending her domestic helpers to buy items like packing boxes and nylon rope.

Kissel pleaded not guilty to the murder during her 2005 trial at Hong Kong’s High Court, but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Kissel, who is originally from Michigan, appealed the verdict, saying that the prosecution had used hearsay and other forms of inadmissible evidence, and that she had been improperly cross-examined. That 2008 appeal was rejected, but Kissel lodged another appeal with the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong in January 2010, which a five-judge panel upheld.

Kissel recently spoke out about her intention to ask for a permanent stay in the proceedings; she claims that the publicity her case has received will negatively affect the fairness of the retrial. A Hong Kong court will hear arguments in November on the application for dismissal of the case.

If the dismissal is granted, Kissel will be a free woman. If it is rejected, however, the retrial will take place in January 2011. Kissel has not applied for bail, as is her right, since the retrial was ordered.

Kissel has also admitted having an affair with an electrician whom she met when he was working at the couple’s Vermont vacation home.

 

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