Appeals court denies new trial for eastern Pa. man in girlfriend's 2011 murder, dismemberment

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ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania — A state appellate court has denied a new trial to an eastern Pennsylvania man serving a life prison term in the murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend three years ago.

Forty-eight-year-old William Ward of Bethlehem pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder in Lehigh County in the June 2011 stabbing death of 29-year-old Trisha Sadler.

Authorities said her remains were found in plastic bags in the home. Ward was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

After sentencing, Ward appealed, arguing that his attorney had convinced him to plead guilty but he didn't understand the plea due to his mental illness.

A county court rejected his arguments last fall. The (Easton) Express-Times (http://bit.ly/1oaOPNo ) reports that a Superior Court panel on Tuesday upheld that decision.


Information from: The (Easton, Pennsylvania) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com

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