The Nebraska Supreme Court rejected a Lincoln man’s appeal for a new trial for strangling his girlfriend to death in 2002, saying in an opinion Friday that a lower court judge shouldn’t have approved DNA testing in his case.

Unlike most cases where inmates contend DNA testing on evidence in the crime could clear them of the crime, Randall Robbins hadn’t argued someone else killed Brittany Eurek.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in a deal with the state, and got 40 to 60 years in prison for it.

Rather, his attorney, Rob Kortus of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, had sought, and got, DNA Drug Reaction Profile Testing to determine if Robbins was a poor metabolizer of Zoloft, as some 10 percent of people are.

In 2015, the testing placed Robbins in a below-average category, meaning more of the drug works its way to the brain, making him more susceptible to side effects, such as the increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in teens and young adults.

Based on the information, Kortus contended that Robbins likely would not have pleaded to second-degree murder and would have sought an unintentional manslaughter charge instead or gone to trial had he known.

But last year Lancaster County Judge Steven Burns found Robbins wasn’t entitled to a new trial and said there was nothing in the record to suggest he was experiencing a side effect of the drug when he killed Eurek.

On June 1, 2002, Robbins became enraged and grabbed Eurek around her throat and squeezed. Then looped a belt around her neck and held it tight for about five minutes, according to the evidence.

The judge said he had a history of physical aggression when he wasn’t on Zoloft, and hadn’t taken it on the day of the homicide.

Robbins appealed.

On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court not only said he doesn’t deserve a new trial, but also said that he shouldn’t have gotten the testing under the act at all.

Writing for the court, Chief Justice Michael Heavican said a logical reading of the DNA Testing Act does not allow a court to grant DNA testing like this.

Unlike the Beatrice 6 case, where the Supreme Court granted DNA testing, the test Robbins sought was on his own blood and couldn’t exclude him from being a contributor to DNA found during the investigation into a homicide, the chief justice said.

Robbins admits he killed Eurek, Heavican said.

And, he said, the court finds no merit in the argument that this case involves an issue of identity because Robbins was a ‘different person’ while on Zoloft.

Robbins’ dose was doubled after his arrest without any ill effects, and his trial attorney testified that Robbins described Zoloft as calming him down and wondered then if not taking it the day of the killing caused him to be more agitated, according to the opinion.

“Because the act is intended to assist in proving the innocence of a convicted person through establishing the person’s identity, it cannot be said that evidence from the DNA testing probably would have produced a substantially different result at trial,” Heavican said.

With that, the court found the DNA testing Robbins sought was not within the purview of the DNA Testing Act and sent the case back to Lancaster County District Court to be dismissed.

Robbins is serving his sentence at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution.