ROME, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Italy's highest appeals court has refused to release Patrizia Reggiani, convicted of arranging the murder of her husband -- heir to the Gucci fashion empire.
Reggiani, 57, was convicted in 1998 of hiring a hitman to kill her estranged husband, Maurizio Gucci. He was shot and killed in Milan in March 1995, five years after leaving Reggiani for another woman, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Reggiani -- dubbed the "black widow" in the Italian press -- was sentenced to 26 years in jail for the murder, but recently appealed to be released on medical grounds. Lawyers for Reggiani said her health has deteriorated in prison, and that she is "addled" and sometimes does not even know where she is.
Reggiani has claimed in the past that she was not in full possession of her faculties at the time of the murder and was not capable of organizing a plot to kill Gucci, ANSA reported. The claim was based on an operation she underwent in 1992 to remove a brain tumor, and subsequent radiation therapy which allegedly worsened her mental condition.