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Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 25 January 2022

Woman convicted of 'milkshake murder'

This was the second trial for Nancy Kissel, whose defence lawyers argued was sexually and physically abused by her husband, who she was found guilty of murdering.

February 11, 2010 file photo, Nancy Kissel, in a prison van, arrives at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong
February 11, 2010 file photo, Nancy Kissel, in a prison van, arrives at the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong
Image: AP Photo, File via PA Images

AN AMERICAN WOMAN has been found guilty of the murder of her husband, who was bludgeoned to death after drinking a drugged milkshake.

Nancy Kissel, (46) was found guilty of the murder of her husband Robert Kissel in Hong Kong in November 2003 in what prosecutors argued was a carefully planned murder that Kissel tried to conceal.

In a case that inspired two books and a TV special, the unanimous verdict and automatic life sentence match the outcome of a first trial against Nancy Kissel. Kissel’s 2005 conviction was overturned last year because prosecutors improperly cross-examined her and the original judge allowed hearsay evidence.

Mrs Kissel’s lawyers argued she was a battered, clinically depressed wife who acted under diminished responsibility when her husband provoked her attack.

Prosecutor David Perry said Kissel said in court in January that Kissel struck at least five blows to her husband’s head with a metal ornament while he lay face down in the bedroom, subdued by six drugs mixed in a milkshake.

She then covered the body with a plastic bag and towels, wrapped it in a carpet and had it moved to storage, Perry said.

Kissel testified last month that her husband physically and sexually abused her as their marriage deteriorated. The couple married in 1989, had three children and were part of a well-off expatriate community in Hong Kong.

Nancy Kissel denied being guilty of murder but was willing to admit to manslaughter. However that charge that was never filed or considered by the jury.

Kissel’s mother, Jean McGlothlin said the family’s first priority was to make sure Nancy Kissel gets “medical, physical and psychological help from professionals, because she won’t survive if she doesn’t.”

Her lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, said there was clear evidence of his client’s mental state deteriorating from 2000 to 2003. He asked the judge to recommend compassion for her when a review board evaluates the life sentence.

Robert Kissel worked for Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, and his estate was worth $18 million, according to prosecutors.

- AP

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