Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

Court overturns arson conviction

January 19, 2003


— A convicted arsonist will get a new trial after the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed her conviction.

In May 1998, a Reno County jury convicted Eileen Ferguson, 44, of burning down Sampler's Restaurant. Ferguson was buying the restaurant at the time and continues to own a second restaurant by the same name in downtown Hutchinson.

But the appeals court ruled Friday that Ferguson was convicted under a defective complaint and that her Hutchinson attorney, Frank Meisenheimer, provided ineffective legal representation.

Reno County Dist. Atty. Keith Schroeder responded to Friday's ruling by saying he plans to appeal.

"I've read the complaint and the appellate court has acknowledged reversing a Supreme Court stance in another case," Schroeder said. "I think I'll ask the Supreme Court if they'd like to review that."

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