No relief in appeals court for woman who killed husband

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) - A Bay County woman has failed to convince a federal court that her guilty plea in the death of her husband was the result of an ineffective lawyer.

Rebecca Shimel repeatedly shot her husband in the back in 2009. She pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.

But Shimel says her lawyer did a poor job by not fully exploring a battered-spouse defense and explaining the plea deal. A judge allowed her to withdraw her guilty plea but a higher court reinstated it.

Shimel took her case to federal court, arguing constitutional violations. But in a 3-0 decision last Thursday, the appeals court says there's no "reasonable probability" that a battered-spouse defense would have helped Shimel because of other evidence in the case.

Published: Mon, Sep 26, 2016