Gregory Robert Graf of Pennsylvania wants a new trial. Following his trial in 2015, a jury deliberated for an entire six minutes before determining he was guilty of killing and having sex with his stepdaughter’s corpse. The 55-year-old murderer and corpse abuser filed a hand-written appeal on July 17. The date coincided with a court hearing that focused on the divorce of his victim’s mother, Danelle Bittner. Graf murdered her daughter in 2014 – weeks after she asked Graf for a divorce.

In his 12-page petition for appeal, the killer contends that his 2015 trial lawyer was ineffective, according to WFMZ.

Far from his defense argument at trial, Graf now asserts he was in a drug-induced mental state when he shot and killed Jessica Padgett, 33, at his home.

Murderer confessed to state police

Contrarily, he confessed to Pennsylvania State Police but only after a five-day search for her body, which he hid. The prosecution played a recording of his confession at his trial. He was, as a fact, convicted of abuse of a corpse and first-degree murder, according to The Allentown Morning Call.

Graf claims, now, that he was enraged and blacked out after ingesting marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and alcohol. It was while he was “high,” according to his filing papers, that he murdered Padgett, a mother of three, The Morning Allentown Call reported.

Graf and Padgett argued before he shot in the back of the head and killed her. Once he was sober, he alleges, he tried concealing what took place.

Murderer changes tale of how killing happened

Nowhere in Graf’s revisionist account, however, does he broach the fact that he videotaped himself sexually assaulting his stepdaughter post-mortem, John Morganelli, Northampton County District Attorney explained.

The prosecutor also questioned how Graf justifies his omission of necrophilia from his appeal. Morganelli believes that the killer’s claims are meritless, WFMZ reported.

Graf, who is imprisoned for life at Fayette State Correctional Institution (PA), appeared via a video feed for his July 17 divorce hearing held at Northampton County Court.

The murderer complained about his divorce lawyer, Jack McMahon, during the hearing. He took exception with the financial agreement stipulated in a decree from February. That decree was a settlement of his estate with his longtime wife, Bittner.

Convicted killer disputes financial settlement in divorce action

Graf has two mutual funds amounting to $130,000 that he is scheduled to receive, according to The Allentown Morning Call. He is also slated to attain 25 percent of the second home in Florida when it sells. The problem Graf has with the amounts is that he disputes that he ever agreed.

Additionally, the killer focused on the $60,000 legal fees that he paid his attorney for representation. His contention is that his lawyer failed to provide him with “proper information,” the Daily Mail (UK) reported.

During the hearing, he claimed that a court order froze his assets, so he wants a court-appointed lawyer. As a result of problems Graf perceives with the divorce settlement, he has not cooperated and has refused to sign documents that would effect a division of assets.

An effect of Graf’s assertions is that McMahon, his attorney, stated that he might not represent his client in a different legal action that was filed by Padgett’s husband. At the core of that civil litigation is a wrongful death, along with infliction of emotional distress, complaint.

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