Shannon Atwood’s defense attorneys had sought a new trial saying Justice Nancy Mill’s guilty verdict could have been tainted because she knew a woman who previously had been abused by Atwood.
In issuing her decision Wednesday, Mills said she had only a passing acquaintance with Cheryl Nickerson-Stewart and didn’t read a newspaper article about her during Atwood’s trial. Atwood was convicted and served prison time for assaulting Nickerson-Stewart 15 years ago.
Atwood was convicted this summer in the 2006 slaying of his girlfriend, 37-year-old Cheryl Murdoch. He faces 25 years to life in prison, and will be sentenced in the coming weeks.