Carr brothers’ appeal to state high court set for Tuesday

12/11/2013 4:17 PM

08/13/2014 10:47 AM

The lengthy appeal process for convicted Wichita murderers Jonathan and Reginald Carr will take another step Tuesday when the Kansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Topeka.

Arguments in Reginald Carr’s case will start at 9 a.m.; Jonathan Carr’s case will start at 1:30 p.m. Sedgwick County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker and assistant D.A. David Lowden will present the arguments for the state.

Public appellate defenders are representing the Carr brothers: Sarah Ellen Johnson and Meryl Carver-Allmond for Jonathan and Debra Wilson and Reid Nelson for Reginald.

Separate hearings are being held because the brothers’ defense arguments are “antagonistic,” Wilson said.

The brothers raise dozens of issues in their appeals. But one of the objections is that the trial court denied the brothers’ motions that they be tried separately, according to information provided by the Kansas Judicial Center.

They also are challenging the constitutionality of Kansas’ death penalty.

The public can watch a live video stream of the proceedings through the courts website at kscourts.org.

The Carr brothers are appealing their convictions and death penalties. The appeals were filed in 2002, when a Sedgwick County jury found them guilty of murder, kidnapping, rape and sodomy during a home invasion two years earlier that left four people dead.

Reginald Carr’s attorneys filed 23 extension requests before filing a written brief in October 2009. Jonathan Carr’s attorneys filed 20 extensions before filing a written brief in the previous month.

Sedgwick County’s District Attorney’s Office filed its brief for Reginald Carr’s appeal in October 2012 after requesting eight extensions. The D.A.’s brief on Jonathan Carr was filed July 2012 after nine extensions.

Some of the D.A.’s extensions came after the defense attorneys filed supplemental briefs, requiring the prosecutors to adjust their responses. The appeal process also stalled because of a legal dispute over the state’s capital punishment law.

The Carr brothers’ convictions followed one of the most notorious crimes in Wichita history during a crime spree that extended eight days.

They were found guilty of killing Jason Befort, Brad Heyka, Aaron Sander and Heather Muller on Dec. 15, 2000, in a soccer field near K-96 and Greenwich Road. Another woman survived and ran through the snow to a nearby house and called police.

Reginald Carr also was convicted in the death of Ann Walenta after she was shot during a carjacking on Dec. 11, 2000.

No one has been executed in Kansas since 1965.

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