The Kansas Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 2003 murder conviction against Thomas E. Murray in a decision released Friday. He is currently a life sentence for the bludgeoning/ stabbing death of his ex-wife Carmen Ross.
The Office of Judicial Administration (OJA) described the evidence against Murray, a KSU English Professor at the time, as "completely circumstantial."
It is "not the place of an appellate court to reassess the weight and credibility of the evidence presented at trial; that assessment is the onus of the jury," wrote Justice Robert E. Davis in the Court's opinion. "Rather, we need only determine whether the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, was sufficient to support the conviction."
Murray claimed he was denied a fair trial based on prosecutorial misconduct during the closing argument, the admission of testimony regarding his silence after being advised of his rights under the Miranda decision, the admission of hearsay stat3ements of the victim regarding her relationship with Murray, cumulative error and insufficient evidence.
"Although no one had informed the defendant how Carmin died, he told police in his interview that he would not have done anything 'like they were suggesting' because he was a 'thinking man,'" wrote Justice Davis
Murray was interviewed for 9½ hours by the Manhattan Police Department the night officer's discovered Ross's body, failing to ask how she died until two and a half hours into the interrogation, according to the OJA.
Murray claimed he did not want to know the details.
Carmin Ross was found stabbed and beaten in her home in Rural Douglas County in 2003 by Sheriff's deputies asked to check on her by Ross's fiancée, who was living in California at the time.
Ross was found on her living room floor, according to the OJA. She suffered eleven lacerations due to blunt force injury and was stabbed 13 times in the neck. Detectives believe she was first bludgeoned then was stabbed with a knife from her kitchen.