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Hearing scheduled on DNA motion

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A judge has scheduled a hearing to take up a request to use a DNA sample from a 2007 rape case for new testing.

The DNA sample is from Kevin D. Skaggs.

Skaggs, 42, was convicted in 2007 in Leavenworth County District Court of three counts of rape, one count of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of promoting obscenity to minors.

The crimes reportedly occurred in 2004 and 2005 and stemmed from the sexual abuse of a child.

Skaggs was sentenced in 2008 to 310 months, or 25 years and 10 months, in prison. He remains in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Skaggs maintains his innocence.

In 2019, a judge approved a request by Skaggs for new DNA testing of evidence from his case.

According to Skaggs’ attorney, David Miller, an article of clothing that was evidence in case has been tested at a lab.

Miller is now seeking to have an old DNA sample from Skaggs so it can be compared to a sample collected from the clothing.

Miller said the DNA sample he is seeking was collected from his client prior to his 2007 trial.

“It was introduced as an exhibit,” he said.

Miller has filed a motion to request the DNA sample.

County Attorney Todd Thompson is objecting to Miller’s request.

During a hearing Thursday, Thompson said he prepared a written response to the motion filed by Miller. Thompson thought his response had been filed. But the court clerk’s office apparently rejected the document because it contained an error.

District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said Thursday that he had trouble understanding Thompson’s objection.

“I’m having trouble understanding why the motion shouldn’t be granted,” Kuckelman said.

Thompson argued the testing now being sought goes beyond what previously was approved by a judge. The prosecutor also said he has not seen a comparison of the cost of using the existing sample versus Skaggs submitting a new sample for testing.

The testing is being paid for by the State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services. However, Miller said he will pay the cost of shipping the sample to the lab.

Kuckelman said he needed to wait for the written response from the prosecutor.

“I hate to delay it, but I don’t know what else to do,” he said.

He scheduled on hearing on the matter for Feb. 18.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR