Carr Brothers' Attorneys Both Argue Joint Trial Unfair

By: AP/KAKE (Chris Fisher, Melissa Brunner)
By: AP/KAKE (Chris Fisher, Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KAKE) _ Attorneys for two Wichita brothers sentenced to die for a quadruple homicide in December 2000 told the Kansas Supreme Court Tuesday that their clients did not receive a fair trial because they were tried together.

Jonathan and Reginald Carr were convicted in the shooting deaths of three men and a woman on Dec. 15, 2000, as the victims knelt on a field.

Prosecutors say the four friends and a woman who survived had been abducted from a home by the Carrs, who forced them to engage in sex with each other and withdraw money from ATMs.

The Kansas Supreme Court heard appeals from both men Tuesday in separate arguments.

Reginald Carr's attorney, Debra Wilson, was the first to present her case. She said her client was effectively fighting the state and his brother Jonathan in proving his innocence.

Wilson said evidence entered into the trial was available only because Jonathan was present. She also said Reginald was denied his right to testify.

Jonathan Carr's attorney, Sarah Ellen Johnson, presented her arguments in an afternoon session. She said Jonathan's defense was tainted by Reginald's behavior during the trial, including refusing to come to court one day.

The Carrs' attorneys also cited bias in keeping the trial in Sedgwick County in light of extensive media coverage of the case.

The state argued the evidence presented at trial overwhelmingly supported conviction and that Reginald could have testified if he wanted to.

The justices are not expected to issue a decision for several weeks.


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