Stewart appealing

Doug Stewart, the estranged husband of Venus Stewart, is turning to the Michigan Court of Appeals in hopes of receiving a new trial.

Stewart, who was sentenced last year to life in prison for the April 2010 murder of his wife, appeared in appellate court Wednesday in Grand Rapids. The court-appointed defender for Stewart said the retrial is warranted due, in part, to a conversation overheard prior to the 2011 trial between Prosecuting Attorney John McDonough and Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman.

Stewart’s legal representative said the conversation in such a context was illegal and as a result, the trial should be required.

The three-member appeals board is expected to act by the end of the month on testimony presented Wednesday.

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