Woman appeals "Milkshake Murder" conviction

April 10, 2008 5:39:24 AM PDT
An American woman serving a life sentence in Hong Kong for bashing her banker husband to death after spiking his milkshake with sedatives will return to court Monday to appeal her sentence.

Nancy Kissel's appeal over what became known as the "Milkshake Murder" will reopen a sensational trial that revealed lurid details of the private life of a wealthy expatriate couple. The hearing will be held in Hong Kong's Court of Appeal.

Defense lawyer Simon Clarke declined to discuss the grounds for the appeal or his client's condition in prison.

During a three-month trial in 2005, prosecutors portrayed Kissel, from Minnesota, as a cold-blooded, scheming woman who plotted to kill her husband Robert, searching the Internet for information about sleeping pills and sedatives.

Prosecutors said Robert Kissel, an investment banker for Merrill Lynch, had been angry about his wife's affair with a repairman who worked on the couple's vacation home in Vermont.

On Nov. 2, 2003, his wife drugged him with a milkshake made with cookies, bananas and sedatives including the date-rape drug Rohypnol. Hours later she bludgeoned him to death with a metal ornament in the bedroom of their Hong Kong luxury apartment.

She later wrapped the body in a rug and asked maintenance workers to move it to a storeroom near the apartment complex, prosecutors said.

During the trial Kissel, admitted killing her spouse, a native of New York state. She said it was self-defense because her husband was wielding a baseball bat.

She also said he was a violent, short-tempered cocaine addict who frequently forced her to have painful anal sex.

A seven-member jury unanimously found her guilty of murder.

The couple's luxurious lifestyle was supported by the wealth of Robert Kissel, whose estate comprising life insurance, stocks and properties was worth $18 million, according to prosecutors.

Nancy Kissel, who once lived in an upscale apartment on a mountain overlooking Hong Kong's skyscrapers, is now among some 260 prisoners in a maximum security female institution in Hong Kong.

American diplomats have visited Kissel, the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong said in a statement. It gave no details about her condition.

It was not known if Kissel has been in contact with her three chil

The family suffered a second loss in April 2006 when Robert Kissel's real-estate mogul brother, Andrew, was killed days before he was expected to plead guilty in a multimillion-dollar fraud case. He was tied up and stabbed to death in his Connecticut mansion.

A chauffeur and his cousin were charged last month in connection with the killing.