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American guilty of ‘Milkshake Murder’

William Foreman Associated Press

HONG KONG – An American was convicted Thursday of murdering her wealthy husband in a sensational trial full of lurid details: a milkshake spiked with a date-rape drug, a love affair with a trailer park dweller and a body stashed in a storage locker.

Nancy Kissel, 41, who had testified that she killed her husband, Robert, in self-defense, listened stoically to the verdict that got her a mandatory life sentence. Her lawyer wouldn’t say whether she would appeal.

People packed the courtroom during what became known as the “Milkshake Murder” trial to listen to witnesses describe the Kissels’ troubled marriage that ended November 2003 in the bloody bedroom of their luxury apartment overlooking Hong Kong’s dazzling skyscrapers.

A seven-member jury convicted Kissel of murdering her investment banker husband by mixing him a milkshake laced with sedatives before striking him five times in the head with a heavy metal ornament.

Kissel was depicted by the prosecution as a cold-blooded killer who carefully planned the murder, surfing the Internet for tips on how to drug her husband, a top investment banker at Merrill Lynch. A mixture of sedatives – including the date-rape drug Rohypnol – was found in his stomach.

The prosecution argued that Robert Kissel, 40, of New York, was seeking a divorce and custody of their three children partly because he caught his wife having an affair.

Nancy Kissel said her husband was a cocaine-snorting, whisky-swilling, abusive, workaholic monster. She said he was dragging her into the bedroom and assaulting her with a baseball bat the night she killed him in self-defense.

The prosecution said the body was left in the bedroom for two days before she rolled it up in a carpet and asked maintenance workers to haul it away to a storage locker.

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