HONG KONG: Milkshake murder conviction overturned

The Associated Press came out with a report a few minutes ago about the overturn of Nancy Kissel’s conviction for the strawberry milkshake murder of her husband Robert Kissel an American expat who was living and working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. Nancy was sentenced to life in prison in Hong Kong for the pre-meditated use of deadly milkshake to kill her dear husband. Now it looks like lucky Nanc will be getting out of prison sooner rather than later.  Says the Associated Press:

Nancy Kissel has always maintained that she killed her investment banker husband in self-defense, fending off a physical and sexual attack, but a Hong Kong jury found her guilty four years ago of sedating him with a laced milkshake before bludgeoning him to death. In a stunning reversal Thursday, however, the territory’s highest court overturned that conviction, ordering a retrial in the case that has grabbed headlines and spawned a book and TV special with its lurid tale of adultery, drug use and sex abuse in the rarefied world of wealthy American expatriates.
Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal said that prosecutors had improperly cross-examined the 45-year-old mother of three during the trial and that the judge wrongly allowed hearsay evidence.

What a lucky chica, eh? Apparently the four panel judge had serious misgivings about the prejudicial impact the prosecution’s line of questioning had elicited during trial. Should Nancy get a second chance at freedom? Btw, after the murders Nancy claimed “disassociative amnesia” but obviously the jury didn’t buy it. Nonetheless, the court now thinks that maybe the jury’s reaction was tainted. Says Timesonline.co.uk:

The Court of Final Appeal sided with Kissel on two grounds – the manner in which prosecutors cross-examined her at trial and the relevance of testimony that her husband confided to others that he feared for his life.
Kissel’s lawyers argued that prosecutors broke the law by asking her about material presented during her first bail hearing before trial.
Kissel was granted bail on the argument that she was mentally fit to be released. But she then said during the trial she suffered from memory loss. Prosecutors tried to highlight the inconsistency.
‘The persistent and vigorous cross-examination of the appellant was carried to such lengths as to generate a real risk of prejudicing unfairly the appellant in the eyes of the jury,’ the judges said.

Everything!  Again, the Associated Press:

But Nancy Kissel testified her husband confronted her about a divorce and threatened to take away their children that afternoon. While they fought, she said, he attacked her with a baseball bat and tried to force her to have anal sex. She said she killed him in self-defense.

Nancy and Robert were ultra wealthy expats living la vida loca in Hong Kong when this whole thing happened. They were married here in New York circa 1989 and moved to Hong Kong with their three children Reis, Elaine and June in 1997, according to Wikipedia. According to reports, they had two maids and lived in an exclusive section of town called Parkview where they enjoyed the largesse of Robert’s astronomical salary from Goldman Sachs where he was hired to run the investment bank’s “distressed assets in Asia” unit.
According to reports, Nanc was having an affair with an electrician who was hired to work on their Vermont home around the time of her husband’s demise. The dead husband was found by Hong Kong police wrapped up in an expensive Oriental carpet in a store room in the couple’s tony apartment complex. Nanc’s fingerprints were all over the adhesive tape used to wrap up the decomposing body in the carpet.
Wow. Yet another “divorce killing.” I’m telling you, this is a serious, serious issue. A global movement needs to be commenced that addresses this problem. Granted Nancy’s situation occurred nearly a decade ago, still, divorce was at the crux of the mishap.
Well, it seems she was the sole beneficiary to her husband’s $18 million fortune:

Police pathologists examined Robert Kissel’s body and determined that he’d been struck five times in the head with a blunt instrument.  Tests revealed the presence of six prescription medications in Kissel’s stomach, including the sedative Rohypnol, better known as the “date rape drug.”  Five of these drugs had been prescribed to Nancy Kissel by two different doctors in the months before her husband’s death.
Nancy Kissel, who had three children with Robert Kissel and who was the sole beneficiary to his $18 million estate, maintained her innocence. More.

I’m telling you it’s always about the money.
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