Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2002

Murder conviction is upheld

February 2, 2002

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— The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday unanimously upheld the conviction of a man sentenced to life in prison in the 1999 slaying of his 14-year-old sister-in-law near Oskaloosa.

Floyd Scott Bledsoe was convicted of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Zetta "Camille" Arfmann. He also was sentenced to 155 months for aggravated kidnapping and 41 months for aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

Arfmann's body was found Nov. 8, 1999, in a trash heap on the property of Bledsoe's parents. She had been shot once in the back of the head and three times in the chest.

Prior to her death, Arfmann had been staying with Bledsoe and his wife, Heidi. Prosecutors maintained that Bledsoe, then 23, told police he loved Arfmann and wanted to know what she was going to do after Bledsoe and his wife divorced.

Bledsoe denied responsibility for the slaying and challenged his convictions on the grounds there was not sufficient evidence in the case against him.

He said much of the state's case relied on the testimony of his brother Tom Bledsoe. Tom initially claimed he killed Arfmann, but then recanted, saying his brother Floyd had told him to take the rap or he would expose some things Tom had done in the past.

Later, Tom Bledsoe testified that Floyd confessed to him that he killed Arfmann.

In a nine-page opinion, Justice Fred Six said the jury believed Tom Bledsoe and that was enough to convict Floyd Bledsoe.

"The jury heard Tom's testimony. Floyd did not testify. The case was tried and argued to the jury primarily as a contest of Tom's credibility. The jury believed Tom. This it was entitled to do. Bledsoe (Floyd) essentially asks us to reweigh the evidence. Our function is not to reweigh the evidence or pass on the credibility of witnesses," Six wrote.

Floyd Bledsoe also challenged the kidnapping and indecency with a child charges, but again the court upheld the convictions.

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