Judge unfreezes assets of jailed Pa. doctor

PITTSBURGH (AP) – A judge says that a University of Pittsburgh medical researcher jailed on charges he fatally poisoned his neurologist wife with cyanide can use money in his own bank accounts to pay for his defense.

Judge Jeffrey Manning ruled Wednesday that 65-year-old Dr. Robert Ferrante can use about $2.2 million in several bank accounts without the court’s approval. Allegheny County prosecutors argued in a pretrial hearing Monday that the money should remain frozen unless the court specifically approves defense expenditures.

Ferrante is charged with poisoning an energy drink belonging to his wife, 41-year-old Dr. Autumn Klein. Ferrante has denied that.

Police charged Ferrante last July after revealing he had purchased more than a half-pound of the poison just two days before Klein fell suddenly ill.

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