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Appeal not accepted by Supreme Court for man convicted of Mertes murder

A photo of James Emerson
Rhonda Mertes & one of her two children
A photo of James Emerson

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The man convicted of murdering a Wausau woman fourteen years ago has appealed and lost, again. 

James Emerson was found guilty of luring Rhonda Mertes to a secluded Wausau site and killing her back in 1999. The case took ten years to solve and prosecute. Emerson appealed the conviction, claiming ineffective counsel, and inadequate communication with his attorney. That was rejected by a three judge panel in 2012.

Then, Emerson appealed on grounds that Judge Greg Grau allowed improper testimony and that the Iowa County jury was prejudiced against him for being black. That argument didn’t work, either.

Emerson appealed to the State Supreme Court to try once more to have the conviction overturned. On Friday, the State Supreme Court declined to take the case, meaning the lower court ruling will stand.

That means Emerson will remain in prison for the rest of his life with no chance of parole.