Inmate appears in court after battery conviction overturned

John Richmeier
James D. Thompson

A Leavenworth man who was sentenced in 2017 to more than seven years in prison for aggravated battery and other charges was back in court this week.

The court appearance by James D. Thompson came after the Kansas Court of Appeals remanded his case back to Leavenworth County District Court.

Thompson was convicted in 2017 of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, criminal discharge of firearm and aggravated endangering a child.

The charges stemmed from an August 2015 incident in Leavenworth in which another man was shot in the chest.

Thompson, 34, had been charged with attempted first-degree murder. But the charge of aggravated battery was presented to jurors for consideration as a lesser included offense to the attempted murder charge. And jurors convicted Thompson of the aggravated battery charge instead of attempted murder.

Judges with the Kansas Court of Appeals have overturned Thompson’s conviction for the aggravated battery charge and remanded the case back to the district court level to set aside that conviction.

According to the appellate judges’ written decision, which was released June 12, “aggravated battery is not a lesser included offense of attempted murder in the first degree” in Kansas.

The Court of Appeals affirmed Thompson’s remaining convictions.

Thompson, who is an inmate at the Winfield Correctional Facility, participated in a hearing Wednesday in Leavenworth County District through the Zoom videoconferencing service.

Zoom is being used for many court proceedings in Leavenworth County because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the hearing, District Judge Gerald Kuckelman appointed attorney Joseph Osborn to represent Thompson.

Deputy County Attorney Joan Lowdon said she had communicated with Osborn before Wednesday’s hearing and believed he wanted more time to prepare.

Osborn requested two to three weeks.

Kuckelman set a hearing for Sept. 30.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR