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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Confession at issue during murder hearing

December 12, 2006

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A man charged with killing a retired jeweler in an April 2005 home burglary in Lecompton made a brief court appearance Monday.

Leonard W. Price appeared in Douglas County District Court, where his attorney, Craig Stancliffe, and District Attorney Charles Branson debated the proper way to have a hearing on whether Price's confession to the sheriff's office can be used as evidence.

Branson offered to let Judge Michael Malone start reviewing the sheriff's recorded interviews with Price. He said that even though Stancliffe hadn't filed a motion to suppress the statements, having the judge watch them could "jump start" a decision on whether Price's statements were voluntary.

But Stancliffe didn't agree to that procedure.

"This is a first-degree murder trial, and I'm not prepared to be informal about any portion of it," he said.

At the end of the hearing, Branson withdrew the recordings, leaving the matter to be settled later. Price has another hearing scheduled for Dec. 29.

He's charged in the killing of Clarence David Boose.

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