Pitt Researcher’s Lawyers Argue Some Evidence Should Be Thrown Out
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Lawyers for a University of Pittsburgh researcher, who is accused of poisoning his wife, were in court Thursday arguing that some of the evidence in his upcoming trial should be tossed out.
Prosecutors say 65-year-old Dr. Robert Ferrante ordered cyanide from his lab at Pitt just before his wife, 41-year-old Dr. Autumn Klein, died.
Ferrante looked a lot different in court today then he did on the day of his arrest.
He was clean shaven, wearing a gray flannel suit, blue shirt and yellow tie. He often smiled at his attorney and was engaged in his defense, chatting often with his team of lawyers.
On occasion he would frown at prosecutors.
Ferrante’s attorneys argued that 85 warrants and subpoenas were riddled with errors, including wrong addresses, wrong dates, no required paperwork and no file numbers.
They also argued that the University of Pittsburgh didn’t have the right to turn over Ferrante’s computer records from his Pitt lab. Records that may show he purchased cyanide, the poison that killed his wife.
But a Pitt administrator says Ferrante signed an agreement that waived his privacy on Pitt computers.
Ferrante’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 22. In May, the defense team’s request for an out-of-county jury was granted.
In April 2013, Klein collapsed at her home in Oakland and died at UPMC Presbyterian, where the cause of death was determined to be cyanide poisoning.
After several months of investigating, sources confirmed that Ferrante purchased cyanide a few days before his wife’s death. In July 2013, Ferrante was charged with poisoning his wife, and he was arrested in West Virginia by state police.