On December 21, 2012, convicted Australian serial killer Peter Norris Dupas, 58, lost his appeal in the 1997 Mersina Halvagis murder case. Dupas’ legal team argued that the trial judge had erroneously allowed testimony of three witnesses that placed Dupas at the murder scene, and testimony of Dupas’ jailhouse confession by inmate and mobbed-up lawyer Andrew Frasier.
The Court of Appeals found that the previous trial judge had properly weighed all the factors surrounding the testimony in question, and had properly allowed it. It is worth mentioning that even if Dupas had been granted another appeal, he would still be serving two other life sentences for the murders of Nicole Patterson and Margaret Maher.
The fact that he lost his appeal brings a sense of relief to the Halvagis family, who believes that Mersina may finally rest in peace. At this time Dupas does not seem to have any future appeals lined up.
Dupas was in the news in October for trying to block the re-airing of the popular TV miniseries Killing Time that briefly touched on his jailhouse confession to Andrew Frasier. Mersina, 25, was attacked while kneeling at her grandmother’s grave and stabbed 87 times, mostly in the area of her breasts, which were left exposed. Dupas was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison. He appealed, but was convicted again in 2010. Frasier testified at Dupas’ murder trial that Dupas had confessed to killing Mersina, while stroking a shiv he found on the prison grounds, and saying her name. One episode of the miniseries shows a dramatization of Halvagis’ murder. Dupas argued in October 2012 that re-airing the miniseries would prejudice possible jurors, preventing him from getting a fair trial, if he won his appeal. At that time the court ruled that the timing of the miniseries, and the episodes in question, would not coincide with any possible future new trial, and would not prejudice a jury.