An appellate court has denied a Rockford murderer's appeal to overturn his guilty verdict. Willard Purcell was originally convicted in 2003 of killing his wife Barbara (Lori) Purcell. Lori was found dead at the bottom of her basement stairs in June of 2001. Willard’s attorney argued use of grand jury testimony of a witness violated his right to a fair trial. The appellate court rejected that argument, upholding the murder verdict.