No second trial for Martha

Sentencing likely to take place next week

This article was updated at 4:49 p.m.

NEW YORK — A New York federal judge Thursday denied Martha Stewart’s second request for a new trial, meaning it’s likely the domestic diva will be handed a midsummer invite to the slammer at her sentencing next week.

Her legal team plans to appeal after the July 16 sentencing, at which the unhappy homemaker and her former stockbroker Peter Bacanovic are expected to get 10-16 months in prison.

Lawyers said she will likely have several months to report to jail, taking into account the appeals process. “It’s not like some judge will cart her off to Danbury right away,” said one Manhattan attorney.

Stewart was convicted in March of obstruction of justice and conspiracy in a case that centered around her ill-fated sale of shares in biotech company ImClone in late 2001. The government claimed she sold the stock on a tip from her broker that the ImClone chairman was dumping his shares, and that the pair lied to cover it up. Stewart and Bacanovic insisted they had a pre-existing agreement to sell the shares.

The sentencing had been postponed to consider the request by Stewart’s lawyers for a retrial after one of the government’s witnesses, an ink expert, was accused of perjury.

U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum said there was “no reasonable likelihood that this perjury could have affected the jury’s verdict.” The judge added that “overwhelming independent evidence” supports the jury’s guilty verdict.

Stewart’s lawyer Robert Morvillo said he was “very disappointed” in the decision. “We intend to raise these and other substantive issues on appeal and are hopeful that justice will eventually be done,” he said.

Cedarbaum also declined to hold a hearing that Stewart’s team sought to investigate when prosecutors learned of the alleged perjury by the ink expert and forensic scientist Larry Stewart (no relation) and whether they should have known sooner.

The judge had previously denied a request by Stewart’s lawyers for a retrial when they claimed that an outspoken juror had lied on his jury questionnaire.

Stewart founded Martha Stewart Omnimedia and took it public in 1999, becoming one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in the media industry. She resigned as CEO after she was indicted and left the board of directors after she was convicted. She retains the title of founding editorial director.

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