Killer of N.J. child can continue legal challenge

    A New Jersey appeals court says the sex offender convicted of killing the child who became the inspration for Megan’s Laws across the country can continue some legal appeals.

    His public defender claimed Jesse Timmendequas had ineffective counsel at his trial when he was found guilty of the 1994 kidnap, rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka who lived across the street from him in suburban Trenton.

    The Appellate Division ruled a lower court judge should not have dismissed his petition to challenge the conviction after his death sentence was commuted to a life term.

    The appeals court is sending the case back to Mercer County Superior Court to determine if Timmendequas should have a new trial.

    The appeals panel affirms the legality of his sentence of life imprisonment with no parole for 25 years for his conviction on the kidapping charges.

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