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Court upholds conviction for elderly slaying

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court on Tuesday agreed with the homicide conviction of a man who stabbed a 93-year-old woman to death in northern Wisconsin.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the argument of Christopher Roalson. He was convicted in 2012 of first-degree intentional homicide in the 2009 death of Irena Roszak in Sawyer County. Roalson, 32, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Roalson shouted satanic references as he stabbed Roszak while she prayed and begged for her life in her Radisson home. She was stabbed about 15 times.

Investigators said Roalson told them he is the “son of Satan,” and he had a crucifix in his house turned upside down, a sign the devil is “occupied and happy.”

Roalson argued on appeal that his constitutional rights were violated when the state failed to produce a DNA analyst who first analyzed two knives and prepared a report.

But the appeals court, in affirming Roalson’s conviction, said Tuesday there was nothing wrong with another DNA analyst testifying in place of the original analyst who was working at a different job in Afghanistan.

Roalson’s attorney, Tim Provis, said he would appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court. State Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck had no comment.

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