Sentencing scheduled in murder case

John Richmeier
Barbara M. Frantz

A new sentencing date has been set in the case of a woman who was convicted of murdering her estranged husband in Leavenworth.

Sentencing for Barbara M. Frantz is scheduled for July 14 in Leavenworth County District Court.

District Judge Michael Gibbens said he also will take up outstanding motions at that time.

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 remains in custody at the Leavenworth County Jail as she awaits sentencing.

The sentencing date was scheduled Thursday when Frantz appeared in court with her new attorney, Gregory Robinson.

Gibbens said he will set aside three hours July 14 for arguments on motions and the sentencing.

“Mr. Robinson, I don’t intend to continue this hearing, understand that,” Gibbens said.

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 Robinson to represent her.

Frantz was in court again Tuesday, but Robinson was unable to appear with her at that time.

Robinson said he was not prepared to go forward with the sentencing Thursday.

“I know this is an old case,” he said.

But the attorney said he needs time for in-depth discussion with his client.

Gibbens told Robinson that Frantz has filed several motions on her own. The judge said he will take up only the motions that Robinson feels have merit.

Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said Frantz had filed hundreds of pages of what are known as pro se motions. The prosecutor said he has no way of knowing which ones Robinson will want to argue on July 14.

Gibbens instructed Robinson to let Boyd know which motions he intends to take up next month so the prosecutor has time to prepare.

Frantz said in court Thursday that she wanted to state on the record there is new evidence of someone else confessing to her estranged husband’s murder.

Frantz has frequently accused the jail of not providing her proper medical treatment. She made this claim again Thursday, saying she has stroke level blood pressure readings.

Frantz also said she is not safe at the jail, alleging she was raped in the facility.

Gibbens said he was not taking up these issues Thursday. The judge told Frantz a writ of habeas corpus has been issued in a response to a petition she previously filed.

This is a civil proceeding that can be used to address Frantz’s claims about her treatment in jail.

Gibbens said a summons has been issued in another civil case involving Frantz. He said this case may involve a claim regarding civil rights.

The judge said Frantz does not have a right to court-appointed counsel in the civil rights case.

She has a right to court-appointed counsel in the habeas corpus case. But Gibbens said it has been difficult in recent months to find an attorney in the area who is willing to take an appointment to this type of case.

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