Friday, March 7, 2003

Attorney: Confessed killer's testimony wasn't perjury



The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A ruling to decide whether to let stand the perjury conviction of a Louisville man who admitted to killing his girlfriend after being acquitted of her murder could be issued in two to four weeks, an appellate judge said.

An attorney for Mel Ignatow told the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Wednesday that his client did not commit perjury when he testified at the 1989 trial of Dr. William Spalding. Attorney Michael Lemke argued that Ignatow's testimony could not have affected the outcome of the trial.

In 1997, a Jefferson County Circuit Court charged Ignatow with perjury stemming from his testimony at Spalding's trial. Ignatow had testified that he loved Spalding's office assistant, Brenda Sue Schaefer, and that they had a good relationship.

Spalding suspected that Ignatow was involved in Schaefer's September 1988 disappearance and sent him a threatening letter. Spalding was convicted of terroristic threatening and fined $300.

Ignatow later confessed to sexually abusing and killing Schaefer after photographs showing the crime were found at his former home.

By then, Ignatow had been acquitted in Schaefer's murder during a 1991 trial in Northern Kentucky.

Prosecutor Christie Floyd argued that testimony from a prosecutor and judge shows that Ignatow's testimony could have had an impact on the case's outcome.

Bob Webb, who prosecuted Spalding, testified during Ignatow's perjury trial that he would have moved to dismiss Spalding's case had he known that Ignatow lied.

Judge John Carter, who presided over Spalding's trial, also testified that he would have suspended the doctor's sentence if he had known about Ignatow's perjured testimony, Floyd said.




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