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Utah Socialite's Conviction for Murder Upheld

August 18, 1986|Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court today upheld the murder conviction of wealthy socialite Frances Schreuder, ruling her son's testimony that she coerced him to kill her father was truthful and amply corroborated.

Schreuder, a former member of the New York City Ballet board, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the July 23, 1978, shooting death of her millionaire father, Franklin Bradshaw, 76.

Marc Schreuder, convicted of second-degree murder in Bradshaw's death, later testified at his mother's 1983 trial that she browbeat him into gunning down his grandfather because she feared Bradshaw would cut her out of his will.

Evidence 'Sufficient'

"The evidence in this case is clearly sufficient to sustain a conviction of first-degree murder," Chief Justice Gordon R. Hall wrote. "The evidence and all the inferences that can be reasonably drawn from it . . . establish beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant had her father murdered."

The case, one of the most widely publicized in the state's history, was the subject of two best-selling books last year, both of which are being made into television miniseries.

The Utah Board of Pardons has given Schreuder, 48, a parole date of October, 1996, two years after her 25-year-old son is scheduled to be released on parole.

The court ruled that testimony from a friend of the socialite, Richard Behrens, corroborated Marc Schreuder's assertion that he shot his grandfather on orders from his mother.

"Behrens' testimony independently established each of the elements needed to convict the defendant of first-degree murder," Hall wrote.

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