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Feb. 11, 1998: Madison native Sandra Maloney, 40, is found dead on a burned couch in her home the day her divorce from Green Bay police officer John Maloney was to be finalized. Initial reports call the fire an accident but the state Division of Criminal Investigation later labels the fire an arson. A Milwaukee medical examiner rules Sandra died of "probable manual strangulation."

Feb. 17, 1999: Maloney, a former fire investigator, is convicted by a Brown County jury of intentional homicide, arson and mutilating a corpse. Joseph Paulus and Vince Biskupic, district attorneys from Winnebago County and Outagamie County respectively, serve as special prosecutors on the case. Maloney is later sentenced to a mandatory life term.

2001 and 2002: Experts lined up by Truth in Justice, a Virginia-based group, independently evaluate the case and unanimously determine the fire and Sandra's death are likely accidents, possibly caused by a botched suicide and careless smoking.

2002: The FBI launches an investigation into alleged bribery involving Paulus.

1999 and 2003: Maloney files unsuccessful appeals seeking a new trial.

April 26, 2004: Paulus pleads guilty to two federal bribery-related counts for accepting $48,000 from an Oshkosh defense attorney to fix 22 traffic and criminal cases. Paulus is later sentenced to 58 months in prison.

April 2004: The Attorney General's office launches its own investigation into Paulus' tenure.

Oct. 22, 2004: The state Supreme Court agrees to hear Maloney's appeal.

Jan 2, 2005: Winnebago County begins a "John Doe" investigation into "numerous complaints regarding possible improper convictions based upon either manufactured or withheld evidence" by Paulus.

Feb. 24, 2005: Madison attorney Stephen Meyer reports to the state Attorney General's office that his review of Sandra's death concludes she was strangled.

June 10, 2005: While rejecting Maloney's arguments, the high court asks Maloney and the state to submit arguments on whether Maloney should get a new trial "in the interest of justice." The court cites media reports raising questions about Maloney's case.

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