Date: 1990-05-02

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Karen Diehl was ordered back to prison yesterday after her appeal of a 31-

year sentence for the beating death of her son failed.

Circuit Judge Alan E. Rosenblatt ordered Mrs. Diehl to report back to the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland by 5 p.m. today. Mrs.

Diehl served 24 months of her sentence before being released on $60,000 bond

Sept. 21 while her attorneys argued her case before the Virginia Court of


Mrs. Diehl's attorneys argued that Rosenblatt erred in the woman's trial

by not removing a biased juror. On April 3, the court upheld Rosenblatt's

ruling on a 5-5 vote. A tie vote means rejection of the appeal.

"I have no doubt she will turn herself in," said Robert Morecock, her


Mrs. Diehl was convicted in 1987 of involuntary manslaughter, abduction,

assault and child neglect in the death of her 13-year-old adopted son Dominick J. Diehl. Her husband, Michael J. Diehl, 44, was convicted of similar charges in a separate trial and sentenced to 41 years.

Andrew, as her adopted son was called, died Oct. 29, 1986, five days after he was found battered in a converted school bus where the Diehls and their 16 children -- 12 of them adopted -- lived.

Mrs. Diehl will be eligible for parole in about three years, barring a

successful appeal. An appeal to the state Supreme Court was filed Monday.


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