DA's 'Smear' Should Nix Conviction: 'Rockefeller'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2009 2:45 PM CDT
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who calls himself Clark Rockefeller, returns to the courtroom for sentencing after he was found guilty of kidnapping.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Lawyers for Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter—aka Clark Rockefeller—want his conviction overturned because the jury was unfairly prejudiced against their client, the Boston Globe reports. Rockefeller was found guilty of kidnapping his daughter. The lawyers say the prosecution “eviscerated” their insanity defense during closing arguments by calling an unqualified expert witness.

“Don't let this insanity defense be the culminating manipulation in a lifetime of lies,” the lead prosecutor told the jury in closing. In a letter to a state judge, Rockefeller’s lawyers now argue that “the use of the word manipulation suggests that the defendant, his attorneys and, by extension, even his forensic expert witnesses, utilized this defense to con the jury.”