Crime & Courts

December 18, 2013

Judge defers ruling on motion for new trial in Chelsea Brooks murder

A judge deferred ruling Wednesday on a request for a new trial by a Kansas prison inmate who is seeking to overturn his capital murder conviction in the 2006 strangulation of 14-year-old Chelsea Brooks.

A judge deferred ruling Wednesday on a request for a new trial by a Kansas prison inmate who is seeking to overturn his capital murder conviction in the 2006 strangulation of 14-year-old Chelsea Brooks.

Wichita lawyer Michael Brown, who represented Elgin “Ray Ray” Robinson at a hearing in Sedgwick County District Court, argued that Robinson’s trial lawyers failed to provide him with an adequate defense. Prosecutor Kristi Barton argued that there was no basis to support that claim.

At the end of a 30-minute hearing, District Judge Patrick Walters took the matter under advisement but did not say when he would rule.

Robinson’s motion for a new trial was filed under a state law that sets out the civil procedure that must be followed by inmates seeking to challenge their sentences after all appeals have failed. Such motions are rarely granted.

Robinson’s convictions for capital murder, rape, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated indecent liberties with a child were upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court in March 2012. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, plus 247 months, after a jury failed to reach an agreement on whether he should receive the death penalty.

Chelsea disappeared on June 9, 2006, after she went to a Wichita skating rink with friends. Her body was found less than a week later in a Butler County field. Robinson, the father of her unborn child, was accused of arranging the murder to avoid being charged with raping her.

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