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Archive for Friday, December 21, 2012

Kansas Supreme Court upholds murder conviction in 2005 slaying of retired jeweler

December 21, 2012

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— The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the murder conviction of a man sentenced to life in prison for the 2005 shooting death of a retired jeweler near Lecompton.

Allen Dale Smith was convicted in 2008 in Douglas County in the slaying of Clarence David Boose, 77.

In his appeal, Smith alleged that Douglas County Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan made improperly prejudicial comments when telling the jury "the truth" would give the victim a verdict against the defendant.

In oral arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court in October, Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson conceded that a comment to the jury to search for the truth instead of focusing solely on the evidence "is now frowned upon by the court."

In writing the court's opinion, Justice Carol Beier said, "Although we hold that that the prosecutors repeated references to the ‘truth’ during closing arguments did constitute misconduct, we are not persuaded that reversal of Smith's conviction is required."

Boose was shot in the head when he surprised burglars at his home.

Smith and his cousin Leonard Wayne Price were on a crime spree, burglarizing homes in northeast Kansas and using the money to buy methamphetamine, according to a statement Smith gave police.

Smith, now 41, was sentenced to life in prison for murder and 11 years and four months for aggravated burglary. Price, now 51, pleaded guilty to felony murder but said he did not shoot Boose. He was sentenced to life in prison. Smith and Price also were convicted and sentenced in a Pottawatomie County shooting and burglary.

Boose and his wife were the founders of David’s Jewelers, which continues to operate, on Kansas Avenue in Topeka.

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