"Milkshake murderer" Nancy Kissel's bid to take her appeal to Hong Kong's top court has been refused.
Kissel's conviction for murdering her high-flying banker husband was upheld last month by the Court of Appeal, but she had been waiting for the same court to rule on whether she could take her case to the Court of Final Appeal.
Yesterday, as the application was turned down, Kissel's lawyers said they would approach the Court of Final Appeal directly.
The American expatriate [pictured] is serving life in jail for bludgeoning to death her Merrill Lynch investment banker husband Robert with a lead ornament at their luxury Parkview flat in Tai Tam in 2003. Kissel had first incapacitated him by feeding him a drug-laced milkshake.
Yesterday, Kissel, 49, needed the help of prison officers to walk to the dock. She sat impassively throughout the hearing.
Defence barrister Derek Chan challenged the way prosecutors responded to medical evidence said to prove Kissel suffered from a mental condition. The evidence is key to the defence case that Kissel should be found guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder, on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Chan criticised the prosecution for not calling its own medical expert to evaluate Kissel's condition.
But prosecutor David Perry QC said his team had challenged Kissel's credibility and the jury was entitled to reject her case and the medical evidence.
Mr Justice Wally Yeung Chun-kuen dismissed the defence application. "We are not persuaded that the argument involves points of law of great and general importance," said Yeung.
The murder has spawned at least two books and a movie, fuelled by trials which featured tales of infidelity, homosexuality, violence and greed. Media coverage intensified when Robert Kissel's brother Andrew was killed in 2006 at his Connecticut home.
Kissel's first conviction, in 2005, was overturned in 2010 by the Court of Final Appeal, which cited legal errors.
She was found guilty in a 2011 retrial and her subsequent appeal was dismissed on December 3 at the Court of Appeal.