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In this Oct. 23, 2014 file photo, Dr. Robert Ferrante, center, is escorted by Allegheny County Sheriffs deputies to court during jury selection for his trial on homicide charges in the 2013 killing of his neurologist wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, with cyanide in Pittsburgh. Ferrante’s attorney filed an appeal on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 in Superior Court on Ferrante’s 2014 first-degree murder conviction in the case. The attorney argues there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Ferrante, and contests the reliability of lab results that concluded Klein was poisoned. (Photo: AP/Keith Srakocic, File)

The former University of Pittsburgh neuroresearcher convicted of first-degree murder for killing his wife with cyanide believes he deserves a new trial.

In a 45-page brief filed with the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the attorney for Robert Ferrante lays out four claims that he believes entitle his client to relief: that the mostly circumstantial evidence at trial was insufficient to sustain a first-degree murder conviction; that the jury verdict was against the weight of the evidence; that the prosecution’s 89 search warrants in the case were overly broad; and that the prosecution withheld crucial evidence that called into question the credibility of the lab that produced the fatal cyanide test results.

A jury found Ferrante, 68, who is serving life without parole, guilty of killing Dr. Autumn Klein, 41. She collapsed at the couple’s Schenley Farms home late on April 17, 2013, and died three days later. Days later, Quest Diagnostics, out of Virginia, returned results from a blood test showing a lethal level of cyanide.

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Ferrante, who studied amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Huntington’s disease, ordered cyanide through his Pitt research lab on April 15, 2013, and had it shipped there overnight. 

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