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KIDNAPPER'S RETRIAL APPEAL IS DENIED

A man convicted of kidnapping a teen-age convenience store clerk has lost his appeal for a new trial.

The state Supreme Court Appellate Division unanimously upheld Gary Thibodeau's 1995 conviction for first-degree kidnapping and his sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.

Defense attorneys had contended that Thibodeau's trial was marred by errors, improper rulings and prosecution misconduct. The Appellate Division's five justices dismissed the claims.

"There is overwhelming evidence of the defendant's guilt," they wrote in a decision issued Thursday.

Heidi Allen, 18, disappeared from her job at a New Haven convenience store on Easter Sunday 1994.

Though her body was never found, an Oswego County jury convicted Gary Thibodeau of first-degree kidnapping, a charge that presumes the victim is dead. Thibodeau's brother, Richard, was later acquitted on the same charge.

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