Appeals court upholds conviction in Bridgeport murder of 8-year old and his mother

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HARTFORD — A Connecticut appeals court has upheld the murder conviction of a Bridgeport man in the fatal shooting of an 8-year-old boy who was scheduled to testify in another murder case.

Adrian Peeler arrives in Connecticut after being extradited.

Adrian Peeler, in the striped shirt, arrives in Connecticut after being extradited in 1999.

Adrian Peeler had argued that his attorneys failed to call a key witness who would have contradicted testimony from a woman who told jurors she saw him shoot Leroy “B.J.” Brown Jr. and Brown’s mother, Karen Clarke, to death inside their home in January 1999.

The boy was to be a witness in a murder case against Peeler’s brother, Russell, who allegedly ordered his younger brother to kill Brown.

The Appellate Court ruled Monday that lawyers failed to show that testimony from the man, a crack cocaine user, would have been helpful. It also rejected Peeler’s claim that telephone records from the day of the murder would have helped his defense.