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US Supreme Court backs up murder conviction of novelist Michael Peterson

The state Supreme Court on Friday upheld Michael Peterson's murder conviction of killing his wife.

Peterson's wife, Kathleen, was found at the bottom of a staircase in the couple's Durham, North Carolina, home in 2001.

Peterson had tried to argue in his appeal that evidence was improperly obtained from his computer, but the court said that would not have changed the outcome of the 2003 trial. The court also said that a judge did not make a mistake by admitting evidence about the 1985 death of a Peterson family friend in Germany.

"We conclude that, because the state presented overwhelming evidence of defendant's guilt, independent and separate from the tainted evidence, no reversible error occurred," Justice Edward Brady wrote for the court.

Peterson's novels include the 1990 "A Time of War," an in-the-trenches look at the Vietnam War, and a 1995 sequel, "A Bitter Peace."

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