Murder sentencing continued

John Richmeier
Barbara M. Frantz

There has been another continuance in the case of a woman who is awaiting sentencing for a 2018 murder conviction in Leavenworth.

Barbara M. Frantz was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday with her new court-appointed attorney. But District Judge Michael Gibbens said the attorney, Gregory Robinson, was tied up in court in Lawrence. Gibbens continued the case until Thursday.

“I would love to do sentencing then, but I anticipate he’s going to ask for a continuance,” Gibbens said of Robinson.

Frantz, 54, was convicted in 2018 of first-degree murder. She was charged after her estranged husband, Gary, was shot Jan. 27, 2017, in a parking lot in downtown Leavenworth.

Frantz had been scheduled to be sentenced last week. But the attorney who had been representing her failed to show up for court, so Gibbens appointed another lawyer to represent her.

Frantz remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail.

Frantz, who appeared in court Tuesday, said she had asked her new attorney to meet with her on Monday.

“He did not do that,” she said.

Gibbens said it is hard for an attorney to stop his schedule to meet with someone with less than a week’s notice.

The judge said he hopes Robinson will be in court Thursday, and he can meet with Frantz at that time.

Frantz said she has filed a motion asking the judge to suspend sentencing.

Gibbens said he will leave it up to Robinson to decide whether to argue that motion.

Frantz said she also has filed a motion arguing that her previous attorneys provided ineffective assistance during her 2018 trial.

Gibbens said he does not anticipate this motion will have a hearing before sentencing.

Frantz said there has been gross neglect in the handling of her case.

“There was too much reasonable doubt your honor,” Frantz said.

Gibbens said whether or not there was reasonable doubt was an issue for the jury. He said Frantz can argue there was not enough evidence for a conviction as part of an appeal.

Gibbens already has denied a motion for a new trial in the case.

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