Judge sets aside battery conviction

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A judge has set aside a Leavenworth’s man 2017 conviction for aggravated battery.

James D. Thompson, 34, could be released from prison now that the battery conviction has been set aside. But prosecutors are arguing Thompson could once again face an attempted murder charge.

Thompson was convicted of the aggravated battery charge in connection to a 2015 shooting in Leavenworth.

He had been charged with attempted first-degree murder. But the charge of aggravated battery was presented to jurors for consideration as a lesser included offense to the attempted murder charge. Jurors convicted Thompson of the aggravated battery charge instead of attempted murder.

He also was convicted of aggravated assault, criminal discharge of firearm and aggravated endangering a child.

Judges with the Kansas Court of Appeals overturned Thompson’s conviction for the aggravated battery charge and remanded the case back to the district court level to set aside that conviction.

According to the appellate judges’ written decision, which was released June 12, “aggravated battery is not a lesser included offense of attempted murder in the first degree” in Kansas.

Judge Gerald Kuckelman set aside the battery conviction Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court.

“So the court is following the mandate of the Court of Appeals,” Kuckelman said.

Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said Thompson likely has completed his sentences for the other charges, which means he may be released from prison.

But Boyd argues Thompson may once again face the attempted murder charge. The prosecutor said a jury never found Thompson guilty or not guilty of the charge.

Boyd asked for additional time to research the issue and prepare legal arguments.

Kuckelman scheduled a hearing for Jan. 15 to take up the issue.

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