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Idaho court rejects appeal in Pulaski murder

BOISE — The Idaho Court of Appeals has rejected a request for post-conviction relief from a man convicted of killing his apartment manager with a Pulaski.

Gerald Barcella was convicted of the 1995 murder of Bill Smith, the manager of Coeur d’Alene’s Harmony House apartments. Prosecutors said Smith was trying to evict Barcella, and Barcella killed him with a Pulaski — a tool with an ax on one side of the head and a mattock on the other.

In his appeal, Barcella said his conviction and life sentence were unconstitutional and that he was the victim of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective defense attorneys. But the Idaho Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision rejecting those claims, saying he failed to show he suffered any prejudice from any ineffective assistance of counsel.