A man convicted of his wife’s murder will get a new trial for two reasons.

1) It has come to light that the State Bureau of Investigation agent in charge of his investigation mishandled evidence in several of his cases. The investigator has since been fired.

2) A new theory, backed by several experts, that a rogue owl got into the house and triggered the wife’s fatal fall down the stairs.

A successful author, Michael Peterson was first convicted of his wife’s murder in 2003.

The new owl theory hinges on a feather found at the scene of the crime and injuries to the head of the victim which specialists from the Smithsonian Institute say are consistent with what would occur if an owl was tangled in her hair.

Kathleen Peterson’s sister, Candance Zamperini, urged Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson not to grant Peterson’s request for a new trial earlier this month, telling him:

“Ten years I’ve been without my sister. Ten years her daughter hasn’t had her. And 10 years the rest of us have been alive and had our freedom, but not Kathleen.”

The case, sans owl theory, was dramatized in the 2007 Lifetime Original Movie “The Staircase Murders” starring Treat Williams.

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