Archive for Monday, August 4, 2008

Mistrial declared in rural Lecompton homicide case

A murder trial ended in deadlock Monday as jurors failed to agree on whether a Topeka man is guilty of murdering an elderly Lecompton jeweler.

August 4, 2008, 12:14 p.m. Updated August 4, 2008, 9:05 p.m.


A jury Monday night failed to agree on whether Allen Dale Smith was guilty of the 2005 felony murder of 77-year-old Clarence David Boose.

Douglas County District Court Judge Michael J. Malone declared a mistrial at the Douglas County Courthouse, but he scheduled a retrial to begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The jury was unable to determine whether Smith was telling the truth when he says he wasn't present April 29, 2005, when Boose was shot to death in his rural Lecompton home during a burglary. The jury forewoman said it was "hopelessly deadlocked and unable to make a decision in this matter."

"It was very hard with the evidence we had," said juror Judy Gragg, Lawrence.

Smith was also charged with aggravated burglary.

While Smith claimed he was not present when Boose was shot, his cousin Leonard Price not only testified that Smith was with him during the burglary at the Boose home but also that Smith was the gunman who fired the fatal shot. Price pleaded guilty to felony murder in the same case several months ago.

Smith, 36, and Price, 46, both from Topeka, are already serving prison time for convictions in Pottawatomie County stemming from a burglary and shooting.

"You don't have to like Leonard Price to believe him," Chief Deputy District Attorney Amy McGowan said during her closing statements to the jury.

Price had little to gain by pinning the shooting on Smith, McGowan said. In a plea agreement, the district attorney's office said it would recommend to the judge that Price's sentence in the killing run concurrently with his 13-year-sentence in the Pottawatomie case. Price will be formally sentenced Aug. 20; he is facing 20 years to life in prison.

Price said during his testimony that he doesn't expect to leave prison because he doesn't think a parole board will ever allow it.

McGowan said Smith's alibi in the case - that he was baby-sitting - was flimsy and that his witnesses were weak. She also said that Smith, following his arrest in the Pottawatomie case, gave investigators wrong information in talking about other cases and trying to link Boose to them.

But Tom Bartee, Smith's attorney, said it took several months after Price was arrested before he came up with a story that investigators jumped on. He had told them other stories investigators couldn't corroborate.

"Finally, he gave them something they were satisfied with," Bartee said of Price.

Smith, who was known to sign his real name to stolen checks and cash them, wasn't sophisticated enough to come up with an elaborate alibi, Bartee said. He also said that Price had committed other burglaries without Smith's help.

Both Bartee and McGowan complimented the jury on its work.

"They did the best they could, and I appreciate their hard work," Bartee said. He said the ruling was "disappointing."

"Everybody would like an outcome," he said.

Boose's family members declined to talk to the media following the ruling, as they comforted each other outside the courtroom. Smith hugged his attorneys after the jury was dismissed.

A previous version of this story misquoted the jury forewoman.


somebodynew 9 years, 4 months ago

God, what a blow for the family. I truely feel sorry for them. Now they have to re-live this entire ordeal again. It is probably better than a complete not guilty, but now it doesn't go away. FAMILY you have my sympathies and whatever prayers I say.

monkeysee 9 years, 4 months ago

what about allen smiths family ?? They are suffering as well. I can only pray that one day the truth will come out.

juscin3 9 years, 4 months ago

yes, I do believe that the spiral notebook is black and yellow. Something with the name of "dummies" on

bd 9 years, 4 months ago

Throw the book at these two losers!

jayhawkbarrister 9 years, 4 months ago

What book? The Kansas Sentencing Guidelines is a spiral bound pamphlet.

igby 9 years, 4 months ago

Those of you who can't see the advantage for both these guys here aren't reading close enough.If Smith wasn't there then Price has a chance to appeal his sentence, however not his plea. That is unless some lawyer claims Price was duped into a plea by false circumstances.Lot of green but no hole in one. This failure by the DA to make a case leaves them both with some wiggle room to spare. Where's the fingerprints and DNA from the crime if this guys not that sophisticated? Huh?

racoon1344 9 years, 4 months ago

I am one that has known Allen Smith most of his life, andbelieve it or not, I know that Allen could not kill anyone.Because I have known Allen for that long, I am naturallya little biased about this. Allen is a burglar and is nowserving time for that. Leonard Price, on the other hand,has a long history of violent crime, and he would have noproblem killing someone. I take issue with the DA sayingLeonard had little to gain by blaming Allen. If Leonardhadn't agreed to testify against Allen, his sentence wouldhave be made consecutive instead of concurrent.But whatever anyone thinks, both families have lost a lotbecause of this. Both families has suffered tremendously.I have no hard feelings toward the Boose family, and mycondolences go out to them.

verity 9 years, 4 months ago

One should not be judging the members of the jury if they were not there to hear all the evidence and the judges instructions (which you didn't hear if you weren't on the jury). Jury members have a very hard job, particularly in a case like this. You can believe a person is guilty, but if the evidence has not been presented "beyond a reasonable doubt", you cannot find them guilty."what a crock! Wish I was on that jury." Good thing you weren't. One is supposed to decide on the evidence presented, not on preconceived notions.

insite 9 years, 4 months ago

I have known Leonard Price my whole life.This man has no value for any life I once seen this man rip a cat apart and take the gut end of this cat and wash the face of his girlfreind this was after he had beat her up badly yes the police was called and he when to jail,But jail does not means nothing to Leonard for that is where he has spent 95% of his adult life So for the DA to say that he has nothing to gain was not true for Leonard he has alot to gain revenge is where he's to gain Allen Smith told on him and Leonard Price has revenge to gain he doesn't care about a lighter jail sentence If this man had the choice of getting revenge on Allen Smith or getting a lighter sentence trust me he would take the revenge on Allen And his brother Scott our whole family knows this. Our condolences goes out to the Boose family and to the Smith family our thoughts and prayer go out to both of you

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