Ex-WV Minister Loses Appeal of Murder Conviction

A former West Virginia minister serving life for his wife's 1996 murder has lost his latest appeal in the case.

A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the petition from James Michael Flippo Sr. Monday.

A 1997 jury convicted Flippo of bludgeoning Cheryl Flippo to death with a piece of firewood the previous year in an isolated cabin at Babcock State Park.

Flippo was pastor of Nitro's Landmark Church of God. He is serving a life sentence with no chance for parole.

Flippo's federal petition alleged that false expert testimony tainted his trial. It also faulted his defense lawyer for bringing up rumors regarding his sexuality.

West Virginia's Supreme Court had previously affirmed Flippo's conviction and sentence.

©2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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