Woman seeks new trial in 2015 Portage killing

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
Theresa Lynne Petto 062515_105246

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A woman who pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the 2015 killing of a woman who was dating her ex-boyfriend wants a new trial.

Theresa Petto entered the plea after several days of her murder trial in the shooting death of 25-year-old Rachel Drafta in Portage. Petto, now 47, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but she later sought to withdraw her plea.

The motion was initially denied by a court in Kalamazoo, but wound its way through the court system. On Jan. 24, Kalamazoo County Circuit Court Judge Alexander Lipsey will hear her claim that she was not effectively assisted by her council.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports an appellate lawyer for Petto argued that her trial lawyer used false information to persuade her to enter the plea by saying she would only get treatment for mental health services if she did so. Petto says she otherwise would have let her trial continue.

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Information from:

Kalamazoo Gazette
 

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