Saturday, 2:15 PM
High court upholds conviction in 2005 murder
By Globe Staff
The state's highest court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a western Massachusetts woman who manipulated her son into killing her husband.
Patricia Olsen was convicted in Berkshire Superior Court in the shooting and bludgeoning death of her husband, Neil Olsen, on Jan. 9, 2005, in the town of Lanesborough, which is north of Pittsfield at the western edge of the state.
Prosecutors said Olsen manipulated her son, Christopher Robinson, into the slaying and then attempted to conceal her involvement. Robinson was convicted of second-degree murder.
The Supreme Judicial Court rejected defense arguments that the judge should have allowed the jury to hear evidence that the son had a reputation for lying and should not have allowed the jury to see graphic photographs of the victim's injuries. The SJC said it could find no basis on which to overturn the conviction.
"There was sufficient evidence to convict the defendant of murder in the first degree, as a joint venture, on the theories of deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty," the court said in an opinion written by Justice Roderick Ireland. "There is no basis to disturb the jury's verdict."
This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.