Appeal rejected for man convicted of ’05 stabbing |

Appeal rejected for man convicted of ’05 stabbing

The Third District California Court of Appeals in Sacramento has in effect rejected an appeal from the attorneys of Fred Engel, who was convicted in 2006 for attempting murder on a Nevada City woman.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the Nevada County Superior Court’s ruling and dismissed an objection from Engel’s attorneys, who had argued that the jurors involved in the conviction of Engel weren’t clearly instructed on the legal nuances of the case.

“This is not a final ruling,” a staff member at the Court of Appeals said. “It’s a tentative ruling because the appellant can file a request for petition for a re-hearing in this court or he can file a petition for reviewing (the case) in the Supreme Court.”

The tentative ruling was filed Wednesday, the source said.

Engel was sentenced to life in prison in October 2006 for stabbing Susan Wallace and slashing her throat, killing her dogs, and burning down her Victorian home in Nevada City in May 2005.

Engel’s sanity was heavily debated during the trial, though jurors decided he was legally sane while committing the crimes.

“I’m relieved to know he’s not going to be returning here in the near future,” Wallace said about the rejection of the appeal. “But I don’t know if they’re planning other appeals.”

At the Court of Appeals, Engel was represented by San Francisco-based attorney Donald Horgan. The people were represented by Deputy Attorney General Robert Nash.

To contact Soumitro Sen, e-mail or call 477-4229.

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