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Archive for Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wichita man to go before parole board 26 years after being convicted of murder

July 5, 2011

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— A 53-year-old Kansas man is being considered for parole in the murder 26 years ago of a 25-year-old man.

Martin Priest was convicted of first-degree murder in the December 1984 death of William Mayhugh.

Priest is scheduled to go before the Prisoner Review Board this month. It will be the fifth time he has been considered for parole since he was convicted in 1985 and sent to prison in early 1986, according to The Wichita Eagle.

Mayhugh's relatives have given parole officials a petition with about 500 signatures opposing parole for Priest. The Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office and a former Sedgwick County sheriff's investigator have also urged parole officials not to allow Priest to be released.

Mayhugh's mother, Connie Capistrant, said that she told the parole board in a recent public comment session about "the heartache it caused the family" when her son was killed. She said her granddaughter grew up without her father, "and that's been fairly traumatic for her."

Former Sedgwick County sheriff's investigator, Danny Bardezbain, said he told parole officials that Priest would be a threat to public safety.

Mayhugh died of exposure after being shot in the head with a .32-caliber pistol. At his sentencing, Priest denied killing Mayhugh.

Kansas prison records show that Priest is being held at Lansing Correctional Facility under a "low medium" custody level.

He was scheduled to go before the Prisoner Review Board in early July. If the board rules in his favor, his earliest possible release would be Aug. 1.

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