Prosecutor argues defendant can face attempted murder charge again

John Richmeier

A man whose Leavenworth conviction for battery was overturned could now face an attempted murder charge. At least that is what a prosecutor argued Friday in court.

The argument came in the case of James D. Thompson.

Thompson, 34, was convicted in 2017 in Leavenworth County District Court 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.

During a hearing Friday, Assistant County Attorney Shawn Boyd said he believes an attempted murder charge can now be put back in place against Thompson.

Thompson’s attorney, Joseph Osborn, said he disagreed.

“I want to hear legal argument and have a chance to review that,” District Judge Gerald Kuckelman said.

Kuckelman scheduled a hearing on the matter for Dec. 16. He said this would allow time for Boyd to file a written argument and Osborn to submit a response.

“We’ll take up the legal issues then on the 16th (of December),” Kuckelman said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR