Appeals panel scolds lawyer in Pitino case

BRETT BARROUQUERE Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A federal appeals panel has scolded and corrected an attorney for the woman convicted of trying to extort University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on Thursday heard arguments from 52-year-old Karen Cunagin Sypher's lawyer that her trial counsel failed to adequately represent her. The panel repeatedly told attorney David Nolan that his assertions weren't backed by evidence in the trial record.

Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey said the argument "appeared to be a waste of everybody's time."

In 2010, a jury convicted Sypher of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliation against a witness. Prosecutors said she sought millions in cash, cars and a house from Pitino to stay quiet about a tryst in a Louisville restaurant.

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