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Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Murderer convicted a second time

At new trial, Cosby again found guilty of killing man at party in 2004

February 20, 2008

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Cosby again found guilty

After hours of deliberation today, jurors once again find Lafayette Cosby guilty in the 2004 shooting death of 28-year-old Robert Martin. Enlarge video

For the second time since 2004, Robert Martin's family sat through a trial and watched as Lafayette Cosby was convicted of first-degree murder for Martin's death.

"I'm excited that our family is done with this for now," said Rodney Farmer, Martin's brother.

A Douglas County jury deliberated for four hours Tuesday before it convicted Cosby for shooting and killing 28-year-old Martin on April 4, 2004, at a late-night party at a southern Lawrence apartment complex.

Late last year, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned a November 2004 conviction and granted Cosby, now 28, a new trial after he spent time in prison. A majority of justices had ruled that the district attorney's office at the time and District Judge Jack Murphy committed errors in the first trial.

James McCabria, an assistant district attorney, and David Melton, chief assistant district attorney, handled the case this time for District Attorney Charles Branson's office. Christine Kenney was the district attorney during the first trial, and Dave Zabel was also a prosecutor, according to news reports.

Kenney declined to comment on the trial.

"Obviously we're sorry that Robert Martin's family had to be put through this again, but it turned out well for them," Melton said. "And even though this was a four-year-old case, we tackled it as hard as we would any case."

He credited investigator Catherine Born, a retired Lawrence police officer, with locating several witnesses for the new trial. He also said jurors seemed to focus on testimony from witnesses in the apartment that night who said Cosby walked up to Martin and shot him three times while Martin was sitting on a couch.

Although intentional second-degree murder was also an option, Cosby's attorney Greg Robinson said the defense had pushed for the jury to be able to also consider a manslaughter conviction or self-defense.

Unlike the first trial, Cosby did not testify. Robinson had argued that jurors didn't have enough evidence to find that Cosby intended to kill Martin with premeditation. He also said someone could have removed evidence from the crime scene before police were able to investigate it.

Although the defense was disappointed, Robinson said Cosby was more pleased this time with how prosecutors presented their case.

"This wasn't a personal attack of Mr. Cosby. It was a resuscitation of the facts," Robinson said.

Martin and Cosby were acquaintances, but they had a rocky history. A Douglas County jury had acquitted Cosby and found he acted in self-defense in a 1997 incident when he stabbed and killed David E. Walker II, one of Martin's friends.

Cosby was calm when Murphy read the verdict. As he walked out of the courtroom, his mother, Reta Cosby said, "I love you, son."

"Love you, momma," he said.

Reta Cosby said they plan to appeal again because she didn't believe jurors heard all the evidence. She did say she hoped Martin's mother could "find peace" after losing her son.

"My heart goes out to her for that," she said.

After the first conviction, Murphy sentenced Cosby to 25 years to life in prison. Murphy will sentence him again Monday, and Robinson said Cosby would likely get credit for the nearly four years he has served.

Comments

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 7 months ago

plumberscrack - no, he can't be sentenced to a longer term this time around as a "tax" for having the nerve to successfully appeal his first conviction. Sentence increases for that reason have long been held to be vindictive sentencing that would impermissibly deter defendants' from pursuing appeals. If you're upset about the cost of a second trial, blame the prosecutor's office who made the mistakes that lead to the reversal of the first conviction.

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ebyrdstarr 6 years, 7 months ago

All I said was hold the right party accountable for the cost. It's not the defendant's fault he didn't get a fair trial the first time.

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Keepyaheadup 6 years, 7 months ago

plumberscrack--- You are pretty pathetic when a man is getting put away for 25 years to life and all your worried about is tax money, Bush is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of the tax payers money and government money on Bull S*** and your worried about someone getting a fair trial... You need to get your head on right and look at the bigger picture like ebyrdstarr said if you have a problem with a second trial then maybe you should take that up with the prosecuters office who should have give a fair trial in the first place.

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muthalode 6 years, 7 months ago

Mr/Mrs/Ms/Shim/Sher Taxpayer, When the gangbangers sneak in your door, crash your party, rape and pimp your daughters, abuse and try to murder you, will you lay down and be the victim or the murderer? Ask an NRA member. Appartently you're not one. Keep paying your taxes and locking your doors. Oh, but the door was locked. The gangbanger came in with invited guests.

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juris2007 6 years, 7 months ago

Lafayette knows that God has plan for each and every situation. The Lord will see him through this point in his life. Just remember that all valleys end at the top of a mountain.

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rasdrm 6 years, 6 months ago

Muthalode You want to say Lafayette was a victim - ummm you better get the story straight. Robert was the victim of a person that couldn't control himself. The only VICTIM here is Robert and the other Victims are his children. I have to raise our son every day with him knowing that his father's life was taken senselessly. Every day his son makes sure that we lock our doors at night so 'someone' doesn't come in our house to get us. That is because of what Lafayette did to his father. Our son is only 8 years old (he was 4 at the time his father's life was taken) - an 8 year old should only have worry about having to go to school the next day and what homework he had to do. I don't care what anyone says, but there is no reason for ANYONE to take anyone's life!!!!!!!!!!! Read the 10 Commandments, the Sixth Commandment reads - Thou Shall Not Murder. That is something that he will have to answer to on his judgment day, and like I said before when I said my piece to the judge - Robert and David will be there on that day. My son has to live the rest of his life without his father, to whom he was inseparable with. Don't ever say that Lafayette was a victim - he took Robert's life and our family can NEVER get him back. I'm sorry - one person taking TWO peoples life's - that sounds like that someone is a victim within their own self.

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