APPEAL FILED IN CHRISTOPHER LEE MURDER CONVICTION

APPEAL FILED IN CHRISTOPHER LEE MURDER CONVICTION

The lawyer for Christopher Lee, the former Marine convicted last year of murdering Erin Corwin of Twentynine Palms in 2014 and dumping her body down a mine shaft, filed an appeal Thursday with the 4th Appellate Court District Division 2. Richard de la Sota told Z107.7 News that he feels the judge made an error when he gave the jury their deliberation instructions. De la Sota said the judge should have emphasized to the jury that there were tests they should have used to determine if Lee acted in the heat of passion when he killed Corwin. Lee claimed he snapped because he believed Corwin had sexually abused his young daughter several months earlier. If a reasonable person believed that he was provoked into the murder, the jury could find him guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. In addition, de la Sota said there is another test the judge should have informed the jury about to determine if it was murder in the first degree (which is premeditated) or murder in the second degree (not premeditated). When Lee drove Corwin to the mine where he killed her, he brought in his vehicle a firearm, a garrote, a propane tank, and a homemade torch. When Corwin’s body was found, she had a garrote around her neck, and the propane tank, torch, and spent bullets were in the mine shaft with her. If the judge grants the appeal, a new trial would be held.

Photo of suspect Christopher Lee.

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