MRS. DIEHL RELEASED PENDING APPEAL OF RULING ON CONVICTION

Date: 1989-09-23

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Karen Diehl, whose convictions in the death of her 13-year-old adopted son were overturned earlier this month by a state appeals panel, was released from prison yesterday pending an appeal.

Mrs. Diehl was serving a 31-year sentence at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland. She was released from the facility about 2 p.m., a spokeswoman said.

On Thursday, a Virginia Beach circuit judge ordered Mrs. Diehl's release on $60,000 bail. Prosecutors objected, citing the seriousness of the crime.

Mrs. Diehl was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, abduction, assault and child neglect in the death of Dominick "Andrew" Diehl. The boy died in October 1986.

On Sept. 12, a three-judge panel of the Virginia Court of Appeals overturned her convictions and ordered a new trial. The panel ruled the judge who heard Mrs. Diehl's trial should have removed a biased juror.

The state attorney general is planning to ask the full appeals court to reconsider the ruling.

Mrs. Diehl's husband, Michael, is serving a 41-year term in the death.

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