After Susan Dow learned of her lover's affair, she moved out of the Cinnaminson house they had shared, called him nearly 90 times over the next few days, told his new mistress to leave her man alone, and then returned with a gun, authorities said.
Dow was convicted of murdering William "Mike" Seidle, 48, a forklift driver she had been with for six months, after a jury found she had shot him in the chest.
The British national was sentenced to 30 years in prison. An appeals panel overturned the verdict this month, citing judicial and prosecutorial missteps, and sent the case back to the lower court for a new trial.
Now, the prosecution is appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court. "We have 30 days to file the petition," said Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, which will handle the appeal.
The decision to appeal was made in consultation with the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office, which tried the case in 2009, Aseltine said Tuesday. Typically, the high court will spend three to five months deciding whether to take on the case, he said.
"There is not a lot of evidence connecting this lady to the murder," said deputy public defender Kevin Walker, whose office will represent Dow if she is given a new trial.
Dow, 53, was recently transferred from the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clinton to the Burlington County Minimum Security Facility in Pemberton to await proceedings.
No weapon was retrieved after the murder, and her fingerprints were not found at the scene.
Also, the appellate panel said, no "incriminating physical evidence" was found at Dow's Maple Shade apartment, where police found her three days after the murder, lying unconscious on the floor next to pill bottles and a suicide note.
Instead, the rambling suicide note became a critical piece of evidence at trial, used to show Dow's feelings of guilt and her wish to avoid prosecution.
The appeals panel, however, found that the use of the note was prejudicial, saying the judge had failed to instruct the jurors on how to evaluate it, especially since Dow had tried to commit suicide two other times.
Superior Court Judge Patricia LeBon should have told the jurors that they could not view the suicide attempt as evidence of guilt if there were other credible explanations for Dow's actions, according to the appeals panel.
The other suicide attempts were not brought up at trial. "We have serious doubts that the jurors' verdict would have been the same if this evidence was excluded or admitted with instruction on its proper use," the panel wrote in its 13-page decision.
The note, addressed to Dow's two close friends, said: "I have gone away to get away from Mike. He is a drunk and beats me every time I try to leave."
The note also said that a former boyfriend was going to find someone to go after Mike to "fix him," and gave instructions for her burial.
This note was the only one "of any significance in the trial," said Joel Bewley, spokesman for the prosecutor's office.
The appeals panel also found that Assistant Burlington County Prosecutor John Brennan had misrepresented the significance of DNA evidence recovered from the victim's bloodstained shirt.
The "mixed" DNA that was found was not an exact match with Dow's, and a forensic expert testified that she could not say "with a reasonable degree of medical certainty" that any of it came from Dow.
But the expert went on to say that Dow's DNA was similar enough to the sample that she could not be excluded as a potential suspect. When narrowing it down, Dow would be among the one in every 1,420 Caucasians whose DNA would be suspect.
The appeals panel faulted the prosecutor for overstating this evidence by saying in his opening statements that "she left part of herself at that crime scene."