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A federal judge has rejected the appeal of a central Pennsylvania man serving a life term in the death of his girlfriend whose skull was pierced by a screwdriver

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LANCASTER, Pennsylvania — A federal judge has rejected the appeal of a central Pennsylvania man serving a life term in the death of his girlfriend whose skull was pierced by a screwdriver.

Thirty-year-old Micah Stewart was convicted in Lancaster County in the July 2004 murder of 19-year-old Cortney Fry, whose burned body was found by a hunter six months later in a Manor Township field. Authorities said he believed their daughter was the product of an affair, but the child turned out to be his.

Stewart argued that jurors should have been told that he was high on drugs that may have made him incapable of forming the intent to kill required for a first-degree murder conviction. The judge in Philadelphia said no testimony was presented at trial to support such a defense.

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