The Oregon Court of Appeals on today upheld the conviction of Bradly Cunningham in the slaying of his estranged wife, which spawned a novel by prominent crime author Ann Rule.
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals on today upheld the conviction of Bradly Cunningham in the slaying of his estranged wife, which spawned a novel by prominent crime author Ann Rule.
The Court of Appeals in 2002 had overturned Cunningham’s conviction on grounds that statements that the victim, Cheryl Keeton, made to her mother shortly before Keeton’s 1986 bludgeoning death were improperly admitted at the trial.
The state Supreme Court reversed the appeals court in October, ruling that the statements were admissible as evidence under an exception to the usual ban on hearsay evidence.
The Supreme Court returned the case to the Court of Appeals to decide other issues raised by Cunningham, including a claim that DNA evidence found on the victim’s body should not have been admitted as evidence.
The appeals court ruled against him on all grounds today.
Keeton, a Portland lawyer and Cunnningham’s fourth wife, was found in a blood-spattered van along U.S. 26 west of Portland.
Cunningham was sentenced to life with a minimum 22-year term, but the state Parole Board told him in 1996 that he never would be released from prison.
Rule’s book, “Dead by Sunset,” portrayed Cunningham as a man with multiple personality disorders who spent his life manipulating women. In 1995, NBC aired a miniseries based on the book.