Inmate seeks new hearing in prison riot case

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A man who was convicted of murdering a guard during a 1993 riot at the Lansing Correctional Facility is seeking a new hearing.

LaJuan E. Clemons filed a petition for an emergency writ of habeas corpus, arguing he is innocent and the testimony of inmates who testified against him was contradicted by an officer.

In a written response, County Attorney Todd Thompson argued mere allegations by Clemons are insufficient to warrant an evidentiary hearing on the matter.

Clemons, 57, was scheduled to appear on the matter Thursday in Leavenworth County District Court. But Clemons, who is being housed at a prison in Florida, was unavailable. The matter was continued until Nov. 18, according to court records.

Clemons was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer in connection to a May 22, 1993, riot at LCF.

Officer Mark Avery was killed as a result of the riot and another officer suffered severe injuries, according to court documents.

Clemons and 11 other inmates were charged in connection to the death and battery of the officers.

Clemons was in prison at the time because of a previous murder conviction in Johnson County, according to a website for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

In his written petition, Clemons asked a judge to reverse his conviction and sentence and release him.

In the response, Thompson wrote that the issue raised by Clemons was previously argued during an appeal of the case.

The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Clemons' conviction.

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