- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 20, 2018

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware’s top court has denied the appeal of the man convicted of masterminding the murder-for-hire killings of his business partner and the partner’s wife.

The News Journal reports the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Christopher Rivers’ first-degree murder conviction in the 2013 deaths of Joseph and Olga Connell will stand. Rivers was sentenced to two life sentences plus 50 years in 2016.

Authorities say Rivers wanted to collect on an insurance policy he and Joseph Connell took out to protect their auto repair business. The trial revealed Rivers had significant debt and was using painkillers and other drugs.

His appeal argued unfair evidence was used to secure a conviction and that “sensationalized” news coverage unduly influenced his local trial. The Supreme Court ruled the lower court followed the law.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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