Court denies Pender’s request for new trial

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – An Indiana woman once on America’s Most Wanted list will not be getting a new trial, but Sarah Pender’s fight isn’t over.

The Indiana Court of Appeals denied Sarah Pender’s request for the new trial on her conviction in 2002 for a double murder. The one page report says Pender “failed to establish a reasonable possibility” she was entitled to post-conviction relief.

The former prosecutor who once called her “the female Charles Manson” stepped forward last year saying Pender did not receive a fair trial based on new evidence he discovered years later. It was a snitch list by the key witness against Pender.

When I-Team 8 informed prosecutor Larry Sells of the court’s decision he said, “I did what I felt was right in stepping forward. Evidently the Court of Appeals doesn’t feel the snitch list was sufficient to change things.”

The snitch list Sells found was written by Floyd Pennington, who listed criminals he was willing to help police get in exchange for a lesser sentence. Sells told I-Team 8 last summer once he saw that, “I realized this guy lied. He absolutely lied. I thought then I’ve got to do something about this. It’s not fair. Sarah did not receive a fair trial.”

Pender is serving 110 years for the murders of her two roommates. Pender’s attorney Cara Weineke said Monday she is shocked by the court’s decision and is looking at options for Pender in Federal court, but admits that may be doubtful since Pender escaped from Rockville prison.

She may pursue a sentence modification in July when the law changes but says the chances are small there as well.

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