Randal Rosenthal Jr. is serving a life sentence for the death of Kathleen Remter, whose body was found in the Fox River - but died of a gunshot wound. He is first eligible for parole in 2061.
Rosenthal appealed his sentence, arguing he should have been allowed to present evidence that his mother's boyfriend killed her. But in a ruling this week, the appeals court denied his bid for a new trial:
"Rosenthal's evidence of opportunity for (the boyfriend) to commit the crime is stronger. No witness could corroborate (the boyfriend's) statement that he was sleeping at the time of the shooting. He lived six miles from the site and knew where Remter was fishing that day. However, no evidence placed (the boyfriend) at the scene of the shooting.
"Rosenthal presented no evidence of a direct connection between(the boyfriend) and Remter's death. The evidence Rosenthal cites, the three-day-old argument and (the boyfriend)'s proximity to the scene of the shooting, relate to motive and opportunity, not a direct connection. No witness saw (the boyfriend) near the scene. The only evidence that (the boyfriend) had access to a gun involved multiple levels of hearsay and was vague as to timing. There was no forensic evidence associating the wound with the kind of gun to which (the boyfriend) allegedly had access, and no evidence such as blood on (the boyfriend)'s clothing to connect him to the crime. Therefore, the proffered evidence does not meet the Denny standard because it is mere speculation and does not meet the test for relevancy," the court wrote.