Kansas Supreme Court Overturns Death Sentences in Wichita Massacre

Jonathan Reginald Carr
Jonathan and Reginald Carr

The Kansas Supreme Court has overturned the death sentences of two brothers convicted of capital murder in the shooting deaths of four people whose bodies were found in a snow-covered Wichita soccer field in 2000.

The state Supreme Court on Friday also struck down three of the four capital murder conviction each against Jonathan and Reginald Carr. But it upheld one capital murder conviction each.

Their cases will return to Sedgwick County District Court for further hearings and a new sentencing.

The court’s majority overturned the death sentences because, it said, the presiding judge failed to have separate proceedings for each brother.

In overturning most of the capital convictions, the majority said the instructions to jurors were flawed.

Kansas’ highest court is preparing to announce whether it is upholding the death sentences and capital murder convictions of two brothers over the shootings of four people in Wichita.

The state Supreme Court planned to release decisions Friday on the appeals of Jonathan and Reginald Carr. They are facing lethal injection for the December 2000 slayings of three men and a woman in a snow-covered soccer field.

The brothers were convicted of dozens of criminal charges in connection with the spree.

They also were convicted of a fifth killing that occurred just days before the soccer-field murders.

The Carr brothers are among seven condemned murderers in Kansas, but the Supreme Court has yet to uphold such a death sentence since the state re-established capital punishment in 1994.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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