Monday, April 2, 2012
Erika Sifrit Cites Mental Issues In New Trial Bid
OCEAN CITY -- With the 10th anniversary of the heinous crime rapidly approaching, convicted killer Erika Sifrit, who, along with her husband Benjamin, brutally murdered and dismembered a Virginia couple vacationing in Ocean City on Memorial Day 2002, this week filed her latest bid for a new trial.
Erika Sifrit, now 34, this week filed a petition seeking an overturn of her prior convictions and sentences and a bid for a new trial, citing her defense counsel at her original trial in 2003 failed to highlight her mental instability and the dominance of her husband at the time of the crimes. In 2003, Erika Sifrit was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Joshua Ford and second-degree murder in the death of Martha Crutchley and was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years.
“Despite the weight of the circumstantial evidence that she was involved in the murders with her husband, including but not limited to her ownership of the murder weapon and possession of victim ID’s and a ring at the time of her arrest, the record shows Ms. Sifrit’s trial counsel did next to nothing to investigate and develop a defense regarding her state of mind- the reason she was involved in the crime,” the appeal reads.
“Due to constitutionally inadequate investigation of Ms. Sifrit’s state of mind and mental health, trial counsel failed to respond to the state’s aiding and abetting case.”