Kansas Supreme Court Orders New Capital Murder Trial

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered a new capital murder trial for a Topeka man who was convicted of two murders that occurred in 2003.

The court ruled Friday that, among other things, Phillip D. Cheatham did not receive effective counsel at his 2005 trial.

The ruling Friday sends Cheatham's case back to Shawnee County District Court.

Cheatham was convicted of killing Annette Roberson and Gloria Jones and wounding a third victim, Annetta Thomas, at a Topeka home.

He was represented by Ozawkie attorney Dennis Hawver. During the trial, Hawver repeatedly referred to Cheatham as a ``professional drug dealer'' and ``shooter of people'' based on a previous manslaughter conviction.

Justice Dan Biles wrote in Friday's opinion that Cheatham was denied a fair trial.