By Brad Segall
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County chiropractor currently serving a state prison sentence for trying to hire a hit man to murder his wife is asking the court for a new trial.
Alan Kushner now claims his attorney four years ago was ineffective, failing to recognize psychological problems that he says impaired his ability to make decisions during his trial.
The 62-year-old Lower Merion man claims he suffers from personality disorders.
But attorney Frank DeSimone testified that he didn’t believe Kushner’s decision-making ability was compromised at the time and he didn’t see any reason to challenge his mental health.
“It’s our contention that the claims of ineffectiveness are completely devoid of merit,” says Montgomery County prosecutor Adrienne Jappe, “and in any event the defendant cannot establish any prejudice. And we will be fighting this PCRA (post-conviction relief act) petition in its entirety.”
Kushner was sentenced to 7½ to 20 years behind bars after Sarran Kushner was shot in the driveway of her Bala Cynwyd home. The jury found he had nothing to do with that shooting but later tried to hire someone to finish the job because of a bitter divorce battle.