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Appeals Court Upholds Murder Conviction of Former Beauty Queen With AM-Fatal Attraction

May 27, 1992

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) _ A state appeals court Wednesday upheld the murder conviction of a former beauty queen who was sentenced to life in prison for strangling her ex- boyfriend’s fiancee.

The court unanimously rejected Lori Esker’s assertions that some of her statements to police were coerced and that the judge’s instructions to the jury were confusing and misleading.

Ms. Esker, who was 21 at the time, was accused of strangling Lisa Cihaski, 21, with a belt in her car outside a Wausau motel in 1989. Prosecutors said Ms. Esker was in a jealous rage over Ms. Cihaski’s engagement to a dairy farmer who had ended a relationship with Ms. Esker just months earlier.

A jury in June 1990 convicted Ms. Esker, who before her arrest was the Marathon County Dairy Princess.

District Attorney Greg Grau said the appeals ruling helps the Cihaski family put the tragedy behind them. But public defender Keith Findley said it was a ″real possibility″ the conviction would be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

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