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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Kansas Supreme Court overturns Leavenworth County conviction

  • The Kansas Supreme Court has overturned the Leavenworth County conviction of a man who was accused of molesting a girl.
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  • The Kansas Supreme Court has overturned the Leavenworth County conviction of a man who was accused of molesting a girl.
    In a unanimous decision released Friday, the Supreme Court reversed Chris King's 2010 convictions for two counts of rape, a count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, and a count of aggravated criminal sodomy.
    The case has been remanded to Leavenworth County District Court.
    King was convicted for crimes that were alleged to have occurred in 2007 and 2008 in Linwood.
    He was sentenced to life in prison, but was released on bond while his case was being appealed.
    The Kansas Supreme Court reversed the convictions because the prosecution had presented evidence of more than 20 incidents in three locations. The prosecution argued King had 11 opportunities to be alone with the victim.
    The Supreme Court found the prosecution failed to identify which of the multiple acts jurors should have relied on for convictions of each of the four charges. The district court judge also failed to instruct jurors they had to unanimously agree on the underlying acts for each count.
    "In this case, we cannot ignore or minimize the prejudice to defendant King from the court's failure to instruct on unanimity and the State's failure to elect which of the multiple acts underlying each of King's charges was to be relied upon by the jury," Justice Carol A. Beier stated in the decision she wrote for the Kansas Supreme Court. "We have no confidence in the reliability of the guilty verdicts."
    The Leavenworth County Attorney's Office can retry the case, but no decision has been made yet.
    "It's still an open case," County Attorney Todd Thompson said.
     

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