Hong Kong's "milkshake murderer" loses bid for final appeal

HONG KONG, April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:22am EDT

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HONG KONG, April 24 (Reuters) - American expatriate Nancy Kissel, who is serving a life sentence in a Hong Kong jail for the "milkshake" murder of her Merrill Lynch banker husband, failed in her last bid to appeal her conviction on Thursday.

A panel of three judges on the city's Court of Final Appeal rejected Kissel's application - the end of a long legal road that began with her first conviction in 2005.

The panel of judges said they will give their reasons later, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported.

The 2003 murder gripped Hong Kong's business and expatriate communities with its tales of domestic violence, rough sex and adultery that cast a shadow over the high-flying lifestyles of financial professionals in the former British colony.

Kissel has been in jail since 2005 when she was found guilty of murdering her husband after giving him a drug-laced milkshake and then clubbing him to death with a metal ornament in their luxury home. She was convicted for a second time in 2011, following a retrial.

In December, Hong Kong's Court of Appeal rejected Kissel's appeal against her conviction.

During her retrial in 2011, Kissel had pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, with the defence arguing that she suffers from depression and had been provoked into the crime after years of sexual and physical abuse by her husband.

Hong Kong maintains its own British-based legal system under the "one country, two systems" model that has guided its transition from British to Chinese rule after the 1997 handover of sovereignty.

(Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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