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Nancy Kissel entered a plea of "Guilty to Manslaughter by reason of
provocation and diminished responsibility. She pleads "Not Guilty to
2011 - January 14 - RETRIAL BEGINS
David Perry QC
"Robert Kissel, was a wealthy man whose estate, including insurance policies,
was worth $18 million (US). Mr Kissel was also paid $175,000 (US) a year, plus
bonuses that over several years before his killing totalled about $6 million (US).
Mr Kissel had also named his wife as beneficiary of his estate in a will.
The couple enjoyed a high standard of living that included a home in the
US state of Vermont, ski trips, vacations in Bali and ownership of Mercedes
and Porsche cars."
"In the event of a divorce, Mrs Kissel's standard of living would inevitably
“In the event of Robert Kissel's death, the defendant stood to gain a very
considerable financial benefit. The estate was valued at about $18 million
and she was the main beneficiary."
Mr Perry described "discussions her husband had had with lawyers about potential
The prosecutor's statements were interrupted by "loud wails" fromNancy Kissel.
The judge ordered a recess.
Prosecutor Opening Statement resumes.
David Perry QC
Mr Perry outlined the day in November 2003 when Robert Kissel died
at the hands of his wife.
Mr. Perry told the jury of "Nancy Kissel's marital infidelity and her
efforts to obtain prescriptions from two different doctors for various drugs with
hypnotic effects. Mr Kissel and a visiting neighbour were given milkshakes
allegedly spiked with drugs. A post-mortem examination of Mr Kissel's stomach
and liver found traces of the same drugs she had purchased."
"The prosecution will show that Robert drank a milkshake laced with sedatives
prescribed to Nancy and that she had smashed his skull into his brain with a
heavy lead ornament while he lay unconscious in their bedroom. Kissel cleaned
blood spots and ordered boxes from a moving company to pack up the evidence,
including the lead ornament used to kill her husband.
She also spoke at length on the phone with a man in Vermont, with whom she
was having an affair
Kissel’s defense will require the jury to consider whether she suffered from
“abnormality of the mind” and a loss of self control when she killed her husband."
Edward Fitzgerald (Defense Attorney)
"The killing was an act of manslaughter on the grounds of provocation and