Judge Steps Down In Midst Of Capital Murder Case

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas judge has recused himself from a capital murder case after the defendant filed a complaint accusing the judge of disregarding his rights.

Phillip Cheatham was convicted of capital murder in 2005 and sentenced to death for the slayings of Annette Roberson and Gloria Jones in December 2003. The Kansas Supreme Court last year overturned the capital murder conviction and death sentence because of ineffective counsel.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Shawnee County District Judge Mark Braun stepped down Friday at the start of what was expected to be a lengthy motions hearing. His decision means all of the motions upon which he already had ruled will have to be heard again by a different judge, and the scheduled Jan. 5 trial date will be pushed back.

Posted by: Lindsay Sax