Topeka The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the conviction of Floyd Scott Bledsoe, who had been sentenced to life in prison for the 1999 slaying of his 14-year-old sister-in-law near Oskaloosa.
In his appeal, Bledsoe had alleged his trial lawyer, John Kurth, was ineffective and committed numerous mistakes that led to his conviction.
In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court agreed that Kurth's performance was "constitutionally deficient," but added that it wasn't convinced that it affected the outcome of the trial.
"Floyd's trial, while not perfect, was fair," Justice Carol Beier said in writing for the court.
Bledsoe was convicted in the shooting death of Zetta "Camille" Arfmann. He was also convicted of aggravated kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child in the case.
Bledsoe accused his brother Tom Bledsoe of the slaying. Tom initially claimed to have killed Arfmann, but then recanted, saying Floyd had told him to confess or he would expose some things Tom had done in the past.
"There was ample evidence to support each accusation," Beier wrote, but added, "The jury, after weighing all of its substance and the credibility of the many witnesses, was persuaded that the state prosecuted the right brother."