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Archive for Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kansas Supreme Court to hear appeal of man convicted of beating girlfriend to death

April 10, 2012

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The Kansas Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the appeal of Christopher Belone, who was sentenced to nearly 49 years in prison for killing his girlfriend by beating her with a coffee table leg.

In his appeal, Belone requests a new trial, contending there were numerous errors during his 2007 trial before then-District Court Judge Jack Murphy.

Christopher Belone

Christopher Belone

Belone was sentenced to 586 months in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges in the death of Linda Begay, 37.

According to police testimony, on July 29, 2006, Belone found Begay in another man’s trailer at the Gaslight Village mobile home park, 1900 W. 31st St. Belone dragged Begay out of bed and struck her with his fists and a table leg, Begay told police.

Begay died three days later, after an infection developed from a hole in her small bowel that was caused by blunt trauma to the abdomen, officials said.

Belone’s defense attorney is arguing before the state Supreme Court that the jury was never allowed to determine whether any negligence by the hospital rose to the level contributing to Begay’s death.

At Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Begay underwent a CT scan and X-ray, and a surgeon was called in for consultation, according to court records. But the decision was made not to operate. When Begay’s condition worsened, she was transferred to Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka, where she died.

Belone’s defense also argues that the district court failed to instruct jury members that they could find Belone guilty of the lesser offenses of reckless second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter or manslaughter. The jury could have found that Belone acted recklessly but not with intent to kill, Belone’s defense attorney said.

In addition, the court did not appropriately instruct the jury on how to consider prior acts of domestic violence by Belone, according to Belone’s appeal.

In a legal brief submitted by the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors deny there were errors in the trial, and say even if there were, statements from Begay before she died and other witnesses, and scientific evidence linking Belone to Begay’s blood supported the conviction.

“Even if this court were to determine that there was error, the evidence against appellant is overwhelming,” the legal brief states.

Comments

none2 2 years ago

It is obviously 100% the hospital and the doctor's fault. It isn't his fault that she wasn't patched up correctly so he could discipline her again, and again, and again.

I think he needs to tell his story over and over again to the lonely big dudes that are behind iron bars. I'm sure he can get consolation for his loss there.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years ago

He still beat her with intent to kill.

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Matthew Herbert 2 years ago

wow. Just wow. Don't dare take any personal responsibility. I realize that everyone is entitled to a lawyer in their defense, but honestly what scumbag lawyer takes on this case? The man is not arguing his innocence. He admits to beating her to death. Instead, he is arguing that after he beat her to death, the hospital should have saved her life and therefore it's their fault she's dead. Seriously? An attorney who takes that case ought to be run out of town.

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cjeter 2 years ago

you beat your girlfriend with a table leg, how much does it really matter if there was any contrived negligence by a doctor trying to save her?! Go on your way now...

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