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Headlines for Sunday, May 21, 2017

Court: Much of $200,000 Prison Settlement to go to Victims in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An appeals court says a former federal inmate who got a $200,000 settlement over a prison injury won't get to keep much of it. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district judge's ruling that more than $145,000 of Kappelle Simpson-El's settlement go toward the $433,000 in restitution he's been ordered to pay his victims. Simpson-El was sentenced in 2009 to six years in prison for being a leader of ring that resold cars stolen from dealerships in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. While imprisoned in Arkansas, Simpson-El tore his Achilles tendon and sued the government, alleging his injury wasn't properly diagnosed or treated. But even before Simpson-El settled, the government warned him it would seize any payouts to him and apply them to his court-ordered restitution.


Kansas Juror's Impartiality Questioned Before Acquittal

HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — Unsealed transcripts show that prosecutors during a Kansas trial in which a man was acquitted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl questioned the impartiality of a juror after her husband posted online that the case was a "witch hunt." The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the juror was kept on the Jackson County panel that last month cleared Jacob Ewing of sex charges. The newspaper said unsealed transcripts of a closed-door meeting with the judge show that a prosecutor voiced concerns about the juror and the town where the trial took place. Allegations against the Ewing man have divided 3,300-resident town of Holton. Transcripts show the juror admitted that she didn't want to be on the panel out of fear of being confronted in Holton by people involved in the case.


Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Capital Murder Conviction

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the capital murder conviction of a Topeka man who killed an 8-year-old girl and stuffed her body in a clothes dryer. The court on Friday rejected an appeal from Billy Davis Jr., who was sentenced in 2015 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the March 2012 beating, rape and death of Ah'liyah Irvin. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Davis' attorney argued he was high on drugs and alcohol and didn't intend to kill the girl, which is necessary for a capital murder conviction.The court unanimously rejected the argument, saying Davis' conduct before and after the crimes and the girl's severe injuries all suggested premeditation. The court reversed the rape conviction because rape is an element of the capital murder conviction.


Police Investigate Fourth Homicide on KC Trail

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say they are investigating whether four homicides along a popular hiking and biking trail are related.Police said Friday no evidence has linked the deaths of four white men along the Indian Creek Trail system since last August. Spokeswoman Captain Stacey Graves said in an email that detectives are aware of the similarities and are reviewing the possibility the cases are related. Three of the victims were walking their dogs on or near the trail. All four men were white and between the ages of 54 and 67 years old. The latest homicide victim was 61-year-old Mike Darby was found dead Thursday morning. Indian Creek Trail stretches 26 miles between Jackson County, Missouri, in south Kansas City to Johnson County, Kansas, in Olathe.


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