Hearing scheduled for man convicted of rape, robbery

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A hearing has been set for a man who was convicted of a 2004 rape and robbery in Lansing.

Recent testing of hairs collected in the 2004 case of Gregory Mark George Jr. indicated there was insufficient DNA for additional testing. But George has been asking for a hearing to determine whether there is a substantial question of innocence in his case, according to court documents.

A hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 16 for a judge to make a determination.

George, 42, was convicted in 2006 of rape, aggravated robbery and aggravated intimidation of a witness.

He was convicted of raping an employee while robbing a convenience store in 2004 in Lansing.

He also was convicted of kidnapping in connection to the 2004 incident. But the kidnapping conviction was reversed in 2010 by the Kansas Court of Appeals, and he was resentenced, court records indicate.

George remains in prison. He currently is an inmate at the Lansing Correctional Facility, according to a Kansas Department of Correction website.

His earliest possible release date at this point is September 2052.

He previously was represented by attorneys for the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies, which is based out of the University of Kansas School of Law. Attorneys for this organization represented George as he sought DNA testing in his case. The attorneys withdrew after it was determined the DNA sample was insufficient for additional testing.

George later filed a motion on his own behalf to request a new hearing. Defense attorney James Colgan was appointed to represent George in the matter.

George appeared Thursday in court through the Zoom videoconferencing service. Colgan appeared for the hearing in the courtroom. County Attorney Todd Thompson participated in the hearing through Zoom.

The case is assigned to District Judge Gerald Kuckelman, but he was unavailable Thursday, so Judge Joan Lowdon presided over the hearing.

Colgan said the determination that there is an insufficient DNA sample for additional testing did not help or hurt his client.

The defense attorney said he believes the matter now requires a decision by a judge to determine if George is innocent.

Lowdon set the Dec. 16 hearing so Kuckelman can make a ruling in the case.

At the conclusion of his court appearance Thursday, George asked for a new court-appointed attorney to represent him in the matter.

Lowdon suggested George can file a motion to request a new attorney.