Opinion affirms convictionPublished 8:00am Thursday, July 16, 2009
ST. JOSEPH – In an opinion published July 14, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions of Anthony Lee Vandurmen for murder and armed robbery in the December 1986 murder of Emma McNulty at her Niles home, according to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office.
Trial testimony showed that Vandurmen, along with David Vail and Jeremy Sisk, broke into McNulty’s home in Niles.
Vandurmen struck McNulty with a patio stone, broke through her bathroom door when she locked herself in and stabbed her with a knife after she climbed out of a window.
The three men left, taking valuable coins and jewelry.
The Court of Appeals rejected Vandurmen’s claims that his attorneys’ lengthy delay in pursuing his appeal violated his constitutional rights.
Because Vandurmen was rightly convicted in the first place, the court said, the delay in his appeal did not prejudice him.
The court also rejected Vandurmen’s other arguments, including his assertion that recantation letters from Vail and Sisk were grounds for granting him a new trial.
Vandurmen can ask the Michigan Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeal’s decision, but the high court is not obligated to do so.