Lawyers for the man known as 'Clark Rockefeller' have requested a new trial, citing judicial errors and what the defense maintains was an unqualified mental health expert.
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, the conman who posed as a member of the famed Rockefeller family for decades was sentenced to a maximum of five years in a Massachusetts state prison earlier this month after being found guilty of kidnapping his daughter and assaulting a social worker with a dangerous weapon.
In the court papers filed in Suffolk County, Mass., the defense argues that Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gazianon erred by not providing "curative instruction" to the jury after the prosecution's closing arguments to remind jurors that Gerhartsreiter's defense was a sound one.
Prosecutors told the jury in closing arguments that the notion that Gerhartsreiter was insane at the time of his crimes was simply another attempt at manipulation, something his lawyer Jeffrey Denner said "goes beyond the pale."
"I would have asked him to say the insanity defense is a legitimate defense in the state of Massachusetts," Denner told ABCNews.com today.
The motions, which were filed last week and unsealed Thursday, also contend that the court erred when it let the jury consider testimony from the state's mental health expert, Dr. James Chu, who Denner contends gave inaccurate and inarticulate definitions of mental illness and criminal responsibility.
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Erikia Gully-Santiago told ABCNews.com today the her office has received the motion and intends to respond within the 60 days allotted.
"The issued raised in this motion were raised by defense counsel during the trial," she said, "and the judge ruled in the Commonwealth's favor."
Denner said his client is struggling inside the walls of prison where he is housed with criminals convicted of much more violent crimes than he.
"He's not in a particularly pleasant place," Denner said.
Bizarre Details About 'Rockefeller' Emerged During Trial
In addition to the four to five years for the kidnapping conviction, Gerhartsreiter was also sentenced to a two- to three-year term for the assault, to run concurrently with the kidnapping sentence. He will serve his terms at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Concord, Mass.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said the verdict was "fair and just" and said hoped it gives Gerhartsreiter's ex-wife Sandra Boss and her daughter "some sense of justice...this was a difficult ordeal for this family," he said.
Prior to sentencing, Gerhartsreiter's ex-wife Sandra Boss and social worker Howard Yaffe, who was assaulted during the kidnapping, requested in their victim statements that Gerhartsreiter be given the fullest sentence under the law.
"While Reigh was gone, I faced a mother's worst nightmare, the possibility of losing a child without a trace," Boss said in her victim statement.
Gazianon said that he was taking into account Gerhartsreiter's first-time offender status and his seemingly genuine love for his daughter Reigh.
It was during a post-divorce, supervised visitation with his daughter that Gerhartsreiter grabbed Reigh and ordered the driver of an SUV to speed off, sending Yaffe, who was trying to rescue Leigh, out of the vehicle, and tumbling to the street.
Gerhartsreiter and Reigh were found six days later in a Baltimore town home that he had purchased a few months earlier.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner expressed disappointment that the jury did not buy the insanity defense, but conceded that "it was an uphill battle," especially since there was no record Gerhartsreiter ever sought help for any mental health disorders.
Denner said his client had a "flat" reaction to the verdict and did not say much.
Denner had asked for a sentence of zero to 24 months in prison, citing his client's "diminished" mental capacity. Gerhartsreiter, Denner said, never intended to hurt his daughter.
"You have a guy who loved his daughter too much and made huge mistakes" in showing that love, Denner said.
Denner even told the jury during closing arguments that "this is not a man playing with a whole deck."
The prosecution had dismissed the insanity theory throughout the trial and referred to Gerhartsreiter by his real name. During his closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney David Deakin implored the jury not to buy into it.
"Don't let him get away with that," Deakin said, "Don't let this insanity defense be the culminating manipulation in a lifetime of lies designed to try and get what he wanted."
Despite the two convictions, the jury found Gerhartsreiter not guilty of giving law enforcement a false name and not guilty of a second assault charge that included battery.
Though he entered the courtroom with a smirk on his face, he showed little emotion during the reading of the verdict and once mouthed "Oh s***" after the second guilty verdict.
Yafee was seen smiling as the verdict was read.
Because Gerhartsreiter is still an illegal immigrant, having come to the U.S. from Bavaria on a student visa, he will face federal deportation proceedings after he serves out his sentence, Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley told ABC News.
Bizarre details of Gerhartsreiter's three decades of deception came fast and furious during the trial, with witnesses recounting a litany of fantastic tales that were alternately flamboyant or strange, or both.
Gerhartsreiter, who had claimed that his daughter Reigh communicated with him telepathically the day she was kidnapped, had a history of passing himself off ot only as a Rockefeller, but as a rocket scientist and a cardiovascular surgeon, among other professions.
As this case winds down, another may be heating up. Conley told ABC News that a federal grand jury is convening in California in the 1985 disappearance of a newlywed couple. Gerhartsreiter, who was using yet another name at the time, was living in the couple's guest house, has been eyed by authorities in the case, but not charged.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.