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Judge to decide Monday what to do with assets of doctor charged with homicide

| Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 11:45 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Robert Ferrante, 64, of Schenley Farms, listens to Judge H.L. Kirkpatrick as he sits with public defender Marcia Hebb (right) at his extradition hearing at Raleigh County Circuit Court in Beckley, WV on Monday, July 29, 2013. Ferrante, a visiting professor of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, was taken into custody by West Virginia police on the previous Thursday after Allegheny County Prosecutor's Office issued a warrant for his arrest in relation to the death of his wife, Autumn Marie Klein. Klein, 41, a UPMC neurologist, was found unresponsive in the home she shared with Ferrante and their 6-year-old daughter
Submitted
Dr. Autumn Marie Klein collapsed on April 17, 2013, and died three days later with a lethal concentration of cyanide in her system.

An Allegheny County judge on Monday will determine what to do with the frozen financial assets of a University of Pittsburgh medical researcher accused of poisoning his wife with cyanide.

Robert Ferrante, 64, of Schenley Farms is charged with homicide in connection with the death of his wife, Autumn Marie Klein, 41. The UPMC neurologist died on April 20.

The asset hearing is scheduled before Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman.

A court order on July 25 froze Ferrante's assets at 15 banks to ensure he can pay restitution if he's convicted.

Attorney Bill Difenderfer entered a not guilty plea on Ferrante's behalf at an arraignment on Tuesday.

Investigators allege Ferrante bought cyanide with a Pitt credit card and had it shipped overnight to his laboratory. Two days later, paramedics found Klein unresponsive on the kitchen floor of the couple's home. She died in UPMC Presbyterian.

A custody hearing for the couple's daughter, 6, was postponed with no date set. Klein's parents, Bill and Lois Klein of Towson, Md., will temporarily retain custody.

Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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