Wisconsin court upholds conviction in 1999 homicide

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court says a man accused of brutally beating a woman and leaving her body near an abandoned building in Wausau was properly convicted.

Prosecutors in 2007 charged James Emerson with first-degree intentional homicide in the 1999 slaying of Rhonda Mertes. A jury found him guilty in 2009 and a judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.

Emerson raised multiple arguments on appeal, including claims his attorney was ineffective, the jury was prejudiced against him because he is black and the trial judge improperly allowed evidence Emerson had propositioned three women he encountered outside bars for sex.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals rejected all his arguments Tuesday, saying many of them weren’t fully developed. Emerson’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message.