Commission Admonishes Judge For Testimony

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ A Shawnee County District Court judge has been admonished for testifying on behalf of a friend convicted of accidentally killing a hunter.

The Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualification on Friday instructed District Judge Daniel Mitchell to ``cease and desist from voluntarily testifying as a character witness.''

The order said Mitchell violated a judicial canon when he testified during the sentencing of Theron Thomas Kent, of Topeka, in Lyon County District Court on Aug. 12.

Kent was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the Dec. 15 death of rural Americus hunter Beau Arndt, 18, who was shot while hunting. Kent was sentenced to 32 months in prison.

During the sentencing, Mitchell testified on Kent's behalf, saying he considered him a friend.

In answer to the commission's inquiry, Mitchell admitted testifying as a character witness without being required to by a subpoena.

Information from: The Topeka Capital-Journal,

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