Judge Rejects Martha's Bid for New Trial

Judge Rejects Martha's Bid for New Trial
Martha Stewart
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GETTY/Newscom

05/05/2004 9:00AM

Martha Stewart on Wednesday lost her attempt for a new trial when a federal judge ruled that the domestic diva was fairly tried the first time out.

Her sentencing date is still set for June 17.

In a 23-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum said allegations that juror Chappell Hartridge concealed a previous arrest on charges of assault are "extremely unfortunate," but did not justify granting a new trial, reports Reuters.

On March 5, Stewart, 62, was convicted of one count of conspiracy, two counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction of agency proceedings when she and her former Merrill Lynch stock broker, Peter Bacanovic, lied about her sale of shares in the biotech company ImClone Systems Inc. on Dec. 27, 2001.

Cedarbaum also rejected Bacanovic's bid for a new trial.

Immediately after the March 5 verdicts were reached, Hartridge was the first of the panel of eight women and four men to speak to reporters.

In seeking a retrial, Stewart's lawyers argued that Hartridge's failure to disclose his past and his apparent prejudice against Stewart showed that deliberations in the trial were unfair.

On Stewart's Web site, marthatalks.com, the homemaking expert's lawyers posted a message in which they express their disagreement with the jurist's decision, saying: "We intend to raise on appeal all of the errors we believe deprived Martha Stewart of a fair trial, and we remain confident that we will prevail."

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