Louis Lanzano  /  AP
Overwhelming evidence supports the guilty verdict against Martha Stewart, pictured earlier this year, federal judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum said Thursday. Cederbaum rejected Stewart's request for a new trial despite a prosecution witness who allegedly perjured himself while under oath.
updated 7/8/2004 2:40:19 PM ET 2004-07-08T18:40:19

A federal judge on Thursday denied Martha Stewart’s latest request for a new trial based on allegations that a government ink expert lied on the witness stand at her trial.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum said there was “no reasonable likelihood that this perjury could have affected the jury’s verdict.”

The judge said “overwhelming independent evidence” supports the jury’s guilty verdict.

The decision paved the way for the celebrity homemaker to be sentenced next week for lying about a 2001 stock sale. Stewart and her former stockbroker are each expected to get 10 to 16 months in prison.

Stewart’s lawyer Robert Morvillo said he was “very disappointed” in the decision.

“We intend to raise these and other substantive issues on appeal and are hopeful that justice will eventually be done,” he said.

Prosecutors had no immediate comment.

Stewart and former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic were convicted March 5 of lying to federal investigators about why Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems Inc. stock just before it plunged on a negative government report.

They asked for a new trial after prosecutors accused Secret Service ink expert Larry Stewart of lying repeatedly on the witness stand during the trial in February.

Larry Stewart, no relation to Martha Stewart, was accused of lying when he said he participated in ink-analysis testing of a worksheet prepared by Bacanovic of stocks in Martha Stewart’s portfolio.

But Bacanovic was acquitted of a charge of falsifying a document.

Cedarbaum previously rejected a new-trial request from Martha Stewart and Bacanovic based on defense allegations that a juror lied on his jury questionnaire in order to get on the panel.

Larry Stewart was called to testify about a notation of “(at)60” that Bacanovic made on the stock worksheet. Prosecutors contended the mark was added after the stock sale to support a cover story.

The defense never disputed the central point of Larry Stewart’s testimony, that the notation was made in a different ink than most other entries on the worksheet.

Besides refusing the new trial, Cedarbaum also declined to hold a hearing that the defense sought to investigate when prosecutors learned of the alleged perjury by Larry Stewart, and whether they should have known sooner.

Shares of Martha Stewart’s media company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, were down 33 cents, or nearly 4 percent, at $8.55 on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.

Stewart, who founded the company and took it public in 1999, resigned as CEO after she was indicted and left the board of directors after she was convicted. She remains under the title of founding editorial director.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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