Hearing continued because of quarantine

Staff Writer
The Leavenworth Times

A COVID-19 quarantine has postponed a hearing for a man whose Leavenworth battery conviction was recently overturned.

James D. Thompson had been scheduled to make a court appearance Wednesday. Thompson, who is an inmate at the Winfield Correctional Facility, was scheduled to appear in Leavenworth County District Court through the Zoom online videoconferencing service.

But Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said he learned that Thompson could not make the court appearance because he is in quarantine at the prison.

Thompson, 34, 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 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. Jurors convicted Thompson of the aggravated battery charge instead of attempted murder.

Judges with the Kansas Court of Appeals 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.

“He’s going to need at least a couple of weeks with the quarantine,” District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said during Wednesday’s hearing.

Kuckelman continued the case until Oct. 23.