Murder conviction overturned after woman finishes sentence

JACKSON. (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned the murder conviction of a Jackson County woman who was accused of killing her longtime companion with an insulin overdose.

In a recent 2-1 decision, the court said Katherine Dendel’s rights were violated by an ineffective attorney at her 2003 trial in Jackson County.

She was convicted of second-degree murder and released from prison in 2012. The appeals court says Dendel’s trial lawyer, Joseph Filip, failed to adequately investigate the cause of Paul Burley’s death. Filip now is a judge.

Dendel’s appellate lawyer, Valerie Newman, hailed the ruling. 

The prosecutor could appeal further, hold another trial or drop the case. No decision has been made.

Newman said another trial is unnecessary. 

Noting that Dendel already served a sentence, Newman said: “What’s the point?”