State’s highest court won’t hear Ferrante appeal in cyanide murder

August 6, 2018

Robert Ferrante makes his way to the courtroom for his homicide Trial Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, at the Allegheny County Courthouse.

The state Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from convicted killer Dr. Robert Ferrante, according to a decision handed down by the court on Wednesday.

Ferrante and his attorney, Chris Rand Eyster, appealed to the state’s highest court earlier this year after the state Superior Court upheld Ferrante’s 2014 first-degree murder conviction.

A University of Pittsburgh researcher, Ferrante was charged in 2013 with poisoning his wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, with a fatal dose of cyanide hidden in creatine supplements she took for fertility.

The appeals court in January rejected Eyster’s argument that cyanide couldn’t have killed Klein because a transplant recipient with Klein’s liver was living and healthy four years later.

Eyster said his next move is to file a petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, which allows a convicted individual to request their case be reconsidered after they have exhausted all of their direct appeals.

“They claims we’ll be bring, we feel, will give us the best chance to reverse this wrongful conviction,” he said.

Ferrante has a year to file the petition, but Eyster said he doesn’t anticipate it taking that long; rather, he said he expects to file within the next few months.

“We’re confident we’re going to get this reversed,” he said.

Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, said Ferrante and his attorney have nothing new to offer.

“Every issue that appellate counsel is now raising is an issue that was litigated in detail at the trial level,” he said.

His previous appeal hinged not only on the transplant recipient, but also on his allegation that prosecutors withheld evidence that Quest Diagnostics - the lab that concluded Klein’s blood had cyanide in it - was tied to a subsidiary that had been convicted in federal court of misrepresenting other lab results.

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