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Starns to appeal murder conviction

By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
April 23, 2002
Peggy Lynn Sloan Starns, convicted of murder in the July 1984 death of Angela Schnoor, has announced through her attorneys that she will file an appeal with the Mississippi State Supreme Court.
A Lauderdale County jury deliberated for 45 minutes Saturday before returning a guilty verdict in the case. Circuit Judge Larry Roberts imposed a mandatory life sentence.
At the time of the crime, Starns was married to Michael Schnoor. Angela was the child of a previous marriage to Debbie Boswell Pepple. The 4-year-old died of asphyxiation during a weekend visit to her father's house.
Three expert medical witnesses for the prosecution testified that the child was deliberately smothered.
Starns is represented by the law firm of Self, Jacob and Kieronski of Meridian.
Lead defense attorney Bill Jacob filed three separate motions on Saturday, directly after the jury's verdict: 1) a motion for a new trial; 2) a motion to set aside the jury's verdict; and 3) a notice to Lauderdale County Circuit Court that he intended to appeal his client's conviction. These kinds of motions are commonly filed prior to appeal to the high court.
Jacob also asked that his client be allowed to remain free on bond pending appeal. This request was denied; the Mississippi Legislature in 1997 made it illegal to grant bond in cases where a life sentence has been handed down.