Archive for Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Appeal denied in Goddard murder case

October 31, 2000

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— The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected the appeal of a man sentenced to death for the 1996 murders of a Goddard couple.

Gavin Scott appealed the sentence, imposed August 1999 in Sedgwick County District Court for the shootings of Doug and Beth Brittain. They were killed as they slept in their rural home on Sept. 13, 1996.

No execution date has been set for Scott. He has a separate appeal pending with the Kansas Supreme Court, which has yet to hear any cases under the state's 1994 capital punishment law.

The state hasn't executed anyone since June 1965, when serial killers James Latham and George York were hanged at the state's maximum-security prison in Lansing. The 1994 capital punishment law calls for death by lethal injection.

According to District Court testimony, Scott entered the Brittain house through a screenless window and opened a door for accomplice Jason Wakefield. They went to the Brittains' bedroom, where Scott shot the couple.

Scott and Wakefield then ransacked the couple's home and left.

Authorities later arrested Scott on a weapons violation during a routine traffic stop.

While in jail, Scott told another inmate about the crimes.

Testimony indicated Scott also told two friends that after shooting Doug Brittain in the head, he handed the gun to Wakefield, assuming he would kill Beth Brittain. But Wakefield didn't pull the trigger, and, according to testimony, Scott shot her in the head.

Wakefield has been sentenced to 80 years in prison without parole.

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