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BOSTON -- The state's highest court on Tuesday upheld the first-degree murder conviction of Jeffrey McGee, rejecting his argument that the 2007 killing of his estranged wife, Christine, in front of their young son, was done in the heat of passion and not a premeditated murder.

The was no dispute that McGee killed Christine McGee by strangling and then stabbing her to death in his Chelmsford apartment on Nov. 20, 2007, but McGee's attorney argued in court documents that the Middlesex Superior Court jury was prejudiced against McGee.

Defense attorney Nona Walker, from the Committee for Public Counsel Services, argued that Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman erred during the 2010 trial when she allowed prosecutors to bring a couch into the courtroom so McGee's then 6-year-old son could show the jury how his mother was laying while his father attacked her.

"We discern no error and affirm the defendant's conviction of murder in the first degree," Justice Barbara Lenk wrote in writing the opinion for the Supreme Judicial Court.

For more on this story see Wednesday's Sun or visit http://www.lowellsun.com.