U.S. novelist Michael Peterson sentenced for beating death of his wife

A novelist sentenced to life in prison for the beating death of his wife has filed an appeal alleging he was wrongfully convicted.

Michael Peterson's attorney filed the lawsuit Monday, saying the judge should not have allowed jurors to hear testimony about the 1985 death of another woman Peterson knew.

Neither Peterson, 61, nor anyone else was charged in connection with the death of Elizabeth Ratliff, a friend of Peterson's who was found dead at her home in Germany.

Prosecutors had introduced evidence of Peterson's attempts to hire a male prostitute and credit card debt of $143,000 (Ђ118,300). The appeal argues that evidence also should not have been allowed, the AP reports.

Nortel Networks executive Kathleen Peterson died in 2001. Michael Peterson's lawyer argued at trial that she died from an accidental fall on a narrow, dimly lit staircase in the couple's mansion. A.M.

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