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​Kansas Court Upholds Death Sentence for Sheriff's Killing

 The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty sentence of Scott Cheever, who was convicted of killing Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels in 2005. Stephen Koranda reports.

The Kansas Supreme Court had previously overturned the death penalty conviction for Cheever, saying testimony from psychiatrist Dr. Michael Welner should not have been allowed.

The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed in 2013 and sent the case back.  This time around, the Kansas court said the way Dr. Welner delivered his testimony was questionable, but it was allowed.

The justices also said some trial errors pointed out by Cheever’s attorneys were minor enough that they had little, if any, effect on the jury’s death penalty decision.

This is only the second time the state's highest court has upheld a death penalty ruling since capital punishment was reinstated in Kansas.

Previous Associated Press version

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence imposed on a man convicted of fatally shooting a sheriff during a 2005 drug raid. Kansas hasn't executed anyone in more than 50 years, and Friday's decision in Scott Cheever's case is only the second time the court has upheld a death sentence under the state's 1994 capital punishment law. The decision came four years after the court ordered a new trial for Cheever over questions about an expert's testimony. The U.S. Supreme Court directed the Kansas court to reconsider. Cheever acknowledged shooting Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels as he tried to serve a warrant at a rural home about 75 miles northeast of Wichita. But Cheever's attorney argued he was too high on methamphetamine for the crime to be premeditated.

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