The Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned 2016 convictions in a case in which a Leavenworth man was accused of battering his former girlfriend and breaking her jaw.

The Kansas Court of Appeals has overturned 2016 convictions in a case in which a Leavenworth man was accused of battering his former girlfriend and breaking her jaw.

The appellate court has ordered that the case of Clayton D. Wilmer be remanded back to Leavenworth County District Court for a new trial.

County Attorney Todd Thompson said his office has the option of asking the Kansas Supreme Court to review the case, but no decision has been made.

Wilmer, 28, was convicted Jan. 26, 2016, of felony counts of aggravated battery and robbery and misdemeanor charges of criminal restraint and intimidation of a witness.

The charges stemmed from an Aug. 3, 2014 incident. Wilmer is alleged to have entered the victim's home and repeatedly punched her. At one point, he allegedly took away the victim's phone when she tried to call 911.

Wilmer was sentenced March 23, 2016, to 16 years and two months in prison.

In an opinion released last week, the Kansas Court of Appeals found that the judge in Wilmer's case erred by allowing testimony of an expert about domestic violence and the presentation of evidence about another incident involving Wilmer and the same victim.

The Kansas Court of Appeals decision states that the judge should have granted a defense pretrial motion that sought to exclude the testimony of the expert on domestic violence, but the expert was allowed to testify during the trial.

The appellate court found that the expert did not "apply her expertise to the facts of the case in fashioning the evidence she offered." The expert admitted in her testimony that she did not know about the relationship between Wilmer and the victim or the alleged crimes.

The trial judge also permitted the victim to testify about another incident she said involved Wilmer.

During this later incident, which occurred in Oct. 24, 2014, Wilmer reportedly fired a shot into a vehicle.

His former girlfriend, a man and infant girl were inside the vehicle. The man was wounded in the leg.

The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled the evidence of this later incident was unfairly prejudicial.

The appellate judges acknowledged the beating of the victim in the original case was "undeniably vicious." But they found that the "criminal use of a handgun to shoot another person reflects a marked escalation of violence and dangerousness. The jurors reasonably could be concerned as much about the implications of that escalation as about the evidence directly related to the beating."

The appellate judges found that the prosecution has not dispelled "the reasonable probability" that the two errors "influenced how the jurors considered the case and fostered in them a belief they needed to convict on the most serious charges because of Wilmer's general dangerousness. Those influences permeated the trial and tainted each of the convictions."

Wilmer was convicted in a separate trial of charges related to the October 2014 shooting incident. He also has appealed his conviction in this case. This appeal is still pending.

He remains in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR