During a civil court hearing Tuesday, a convicted murderer’s former defense attorney acknowledged that he could have made more objections to testimony and to allowing jurors to hear and see some evidence in the 2005 Lawrence trial.
Martin K. Miller, 50, was convicted of strangling his wife, Mary, inside their central Lawrence home in 2004, but now he is suing the state claiming that his constitutional rights were violated at the trial.
His trial defense attorney, Mark Manna, whose counsel Miller claims was ineffective, answered questions on the stand Monday and Tuesday.
Manna said he now believes he should have made more objections about testimony that Miller was receiving automated messages from pornographic Web sites after his wife’s death. Manna said he should have argued to jurors that these messages were irrelevant and not related to the state’s case.
Prosecutors presented evidence about Miller’s four-year extramarital affair, pornography addiction and desire to pursue more sexual relationships. Miller was a carpenter and former Christian school leader.
He is serving 25 years to life in prison for the murder conviction. The Kansas Supreme Court has already upheld the conviction once. The hearing ended Tuesday without Miller taking the stand even though his attorney, Jessica Kunen, on Monday indicated that he would.
District Judge Paula Martin said Tuesday that she would allow attorneys to file additional written arguments. She likely will not rule until the summer on whether Miller received ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial.