Crime & Courts

Olathe police shooting case deadlocks again

OLATHE — Once again, a Johnson County jury has deadlocked in the case of Kimberly Hudson, who is accused of assaulting an Olathe police officer who shot her.

Friday evening, jurors told District Judge Stephen Tatum that they could not reach a verdict in the case.

The outcome is the latest in a long legal battle that began after two Olathe officers shot Hudson on April 23, 2007.

Jurors were unable to reach verdicts in two other trials. A third ended in a conviction, but Tatum overturned it because of prosecution trial errors.

Hudson also has a pending civil lawsuit against the officers, the police chief and the city of Olathe.

At the heart of all this, attorneys clash on key questions: Did Hudson, drunk and suicidal, go after one of the officers with a knife? Or did Olathe officers overreact and lie about it?

Hudson's boyfriend says he called police for help after a drunken Hudson was waving a knife and threatening to kill herself.

She was upstairs in bed by the time police arrived, but still had the knife in her hand.

Hudson admits she refused to drop the knife but says she was seated in bed when police shot her.

Police say they shot her after she walked toward one of them with a knife.

Defense forensic experts say blood spatter, bullet trajectory and other evidence prove Hudson was shot on the bed.

Tape recorders on the belts of the officers recorded them telling her over and over to drop the knife. They recorded her refusal and then her words "shoot, shoot, shoot" just before two shots ring out.

In closing the trial Friday, assistant prosecutor Brad Burke told jurors that the scene was too chaotic to tell where she was shot.

"Paramedics come in, move the comforter, cut clothes, tear clothing, blood going places, fabric going places," Burke said.

Officer Calie Smith shot Hudson in the torso because she was in fear for her life after Hudson came toward her, he said. The other officer then shot Hudson in the arm.

Hudson's version of events doesn't stand up against the words of two police officers, he said.

Defense lawyer Scott Toth told jurors Hudson was guilty of obstructing justice for not dropping the knife but that physical evidence proves she never got off the bed.

There is no blood in the area where Smith said she shot Hudson, Toth said, and no gunshot residue was found on Hudson as there would have been if she were shot from such close range.