Franklin D. Fickle, who was convicted of murdering Daryl Cozart, has failed to convince an appellate court that his trial attorney was ineffective for failing to object to parts of a prosecutor’s opening and closing statements.

A jury found Fickle, 48, guilty of first-degree murder in the March 1, 1997, shooting death of Cozart in Fickle’s home in Hermitage. He is serving a life sentence in LaBelle, Pa.

Superior Court said in an opinion filed Friday that Fickle had alleged in an earlier appeal that a prosecutor improperly discussed an affair between Fickle and Cozart’s wife, and the credibility of a defense witness. Because the court had decided trial testimony had been presented about those issues that justified the prosecutor’s reference, it would not review them again.

Fickle also argued that his trial attorney should have objected to prosecutor statements about black paint on jeans found in a garbage can behind Fickle’s house matching the paint that had been used to paint Cozart’s van, and a yellow towel that prosecutors said was used as a silencer.

State police forensics and firearms examiners presented sufficient testimony for the prosecutor to make statements about them, Superior Court said.

Fickle also alleged that the prosecutor made an improper conclusion about how long Cozart’s body had been left outside. The court said the prosecutor did not say how long the body had been outside, only restated facts about when the body was found and what day the coroner determined Cozart had died.

The Supreme Court has said that prosecution opening arguments must be based on evidence that is planned to be introduced during the trial, and prosecutors must be given “reasonable latitude” in closing arguments to present their versions of the evidence and respond to defense arguments.

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