By The Associated Press
Milwaukee (AP) -- New DNA evidence would not have affected the murder
conviction of a former police officer and Playboy Club waitress in
the death of her former husband's ex-wife, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Judge Jeffrey Conen ruled that DNA presented in Laurie "Bambi"
Bembenek's case was not enough to convince him that Bembenek would
have been acquitted of the murder had it been available at her trial.
The decision was another setback in Bembenek's long campaign to prove
her innocence in the 23-year-old murder case. But her attorney, Mary
Woehrer, said Bembenek would appeal.
"We're going to have to go the appellate route," Woehrer said. "We
have no alternative."
For years, Bembenek, a former Milwaukee police officer, has been
seeking to have her conviction overturned. She was sentenced to life
in prison in 1982 for killing Christine Schultz, the ex-wife of
Bembenek's then-husband, a police detective.
Investigators say Bembenek killed the woman in 1981 after complaining
about the alimony Bembenek's husband had to pay to her.
Bembenek escaped from prison in 1990 and hid in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The breakout led to a Milwaukee rally that drew several hundred
supporters wearing "Run Bambi Run" T-shirts. She was caught three
A judge eventually set aside the conviction and Bembenek reached a
deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded no contest to
second-degree murder. That led to her release in December 1992
because of time served.
Bembenek, who now lives in Washington state, has claimed she was
framed because of her efforts to expose sex discrimination and other
misconduct on the Milwaukee police force.
Woehrer said the DNA evidence, taken from Schultz's body, proved that
Schultz was sexually assaulted by a male before she was murdered.
But Conen ruled that he was not convinced that the DNA evidence had
not been tainted in the more than 20 years since it was taken.
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District Attorney E. Michael McCann said a number of courts have
reviewed the case and concluded the conviction should be upheld.