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Appeals Court to Hear Convicted Killer's Fraud Case

Posted Updated
Robert Petrick In Court 0705
RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Court of Appeals will hear a case from a convicted killer who claims he was duped into a plea to charges that he forged thousands of dollars in checks.

Robert Petrick filed a handwritten motion last year that contends his attorney, Mark Edwards, rushed him into the deal without fully explaining it to him.

Petrick, who is serving a life sentence for killing his wife, wants to throw out his "no contest" plea, which resulted in his serving 11 years in prison for the fraud charge.

The appeals court will hear the case Oct. 10.

Janine Sutphen, Petrick's wife, was found wrapped in a tarp, tied in duct tape and floating in Raleigh's Falls Lake in 2003.

The state medical examiner concluded that Sutphen was suffocated and wrapped in sleeping bags with her legs chained. Petrick reported his wife missing on Jan. 22, 2003, after she failed to show up to a symphony rehearsal.

Petrick, who acted as his own attorney in both the murder and fraud cases, was found guilty of first-degree murder on Nov. 29, 2005.

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