An appeals court has upheld a New Jersey man's conviction for fatally shooting his wife in a mall parking lot eight years ago.

George Melendez had argued that incriminating statements he made to police shouldn't have been allowed as evidence at his trial.

Morris County investigators testified that Melendez told them his handgun "went off" and killed his wife as both sat in the parking lot of the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in 2003. The couple had been going through a turbulent divorce.

In his appeal, Melendez claimed he was questioned after he asked to see an attorney.

But despite faulting some aspects of the police investigation, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday that Melendez made key statements after he had been notified of his rights and signed a waiver form.