Errors Crept into Trial, Pagano Says ; Former Festus Police Chief Appeals Murder Conviction

Article excerpt

William N. Pagano, a former Festus police chief found guilty of killing a business associate, is alleging that errors at his trial helped convict him.

A jury convicted Pagano in September 1991 of second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the shotgun killing of Mark Timothy Todd, 33. Todd was a vice president of the security firm that Pagano headed.

Pagano, 46, said he had acted in self-defense when he shot Todd twice in the head in Pagano's garage on March 26, 1990. He said he was trying to arrest Todd because Todd was planning to hire a hit man to kill Todd's wife.

A judge sentenced Pagano in January 1992 to 23 years in prison, but he has yet to spend a day in the penitentiary. Pagano has been free on $250,000 bond while appealing his conviction.

Pagano's lawyer, Edward L. Page, filed an appeal earlier this week with the Missouri of Appeals in Springfield, Mo. The appeal alleges errors at Pagano's trial.

Page said it may be June before the appeal is argued.

Two of the errors alleged by Pagano involve witnesses' testimony. The appeal says the testimony was hearsay and was prejudiced against Pagano. …


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