Rochester court hears Kaitlyn Conley manslaughter appeal

Attorneys for both sides argued virtually before a panel of five state appellate court judges in Rochester.

Posted: Dec 2, 2020 12:39 PM
Updated: Dec 2, 2020 12:40 PM

ROCHESTER, NY - Her murder trial took three weeks. More than 40 witnesses testified and the jury deliberated for two full days. But Kaitlyn Conley's manslaughter appeal, on Wednesday, was argued in about 20 minutes.

Attorneys for both sides argued virtually before a panel of five state appellate court judges in Rochester.

Kaitlyn Conley is sentenced for manslaughter in January of 2018

A jury convicted Conley in November 2017 of first-degree manslaughter in the poisoning death of local chiropractor, Dr. Mary Yoder. Conley's attorney, during her appeal Wednesday, argued that the jury never should have been allowed to consider the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter. She said the jury didn't buy the murder charge and manslaughter was used as a safety net.

"It was not something the jury believed, and they twice rejected this case against Katie, and the manslaughter was just thrown out at the last minute to get a compromised verdict. I would ask the court to please dismiss the indictment and release her as soon as possible," argued defense attorney Simone Shaheen.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office argued against the appeal, saying that all legal guidelines and requirements were met for the jury to consider manslaughter.

"In part, counsel's argument is that the county court should not have issued a lesser included charge because the prosecution, during its trial case, never advanced it, never argued for manslaughter as well as murder and that's not a requirement," argued Steven Cox, Assistant District Attorney.

The court should issue their ruling in the next four to eight weeks.

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