Objection to DNA testing not likely

At his sentencing for the November 1999 murder of his sister-in-law, Camille Arfmann, Floyd S. Bledsoe, 23, gestures toward his wife, sister of his victim. Bledsoe was sentenced Friday in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Oskaloosa to life in prison for the crime.

The Jefferson County Attorney’s Office has located several pieces of evidence that could be tested for DNA in the 1999 murder case of Oskaloosa teen Zetta “Camille” Arfmann.

Floyd Bledsoe, 35, is serving a life sentence in the shooting death of Arfmann, then 14, but has maintained his innocence. In June, Bledsoe’s attorneys with the Kansas University Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies filed a motion to test evidence that had not been tested before Bledsoe’s trial.

Jefferson County Attorney Jason Belveal has yet to respond to the motion for testing but said his office “most likely won’t have an objection” to the testing. Since receiving the motion, Belveal said his office has been able to locate all of the materials requested for testing by Bledsoe’s attorneys. If a defendant can prove indigence, the state pays for the testing, Belveal said.

Bledsoe’s brother, Tom Bledsoe, was arrested and charged with killing Arfmann, who was shot three times in the chest and once in the back of the head. Tom led investigators to the body, confessed to the crime and provided police with his gun that was used in the murder.

However, after several days in jail, Tom recanted and implicated his brother, Floyd. Arfmann, who was Floyd’s sister-in-law, was found buried in a shallow grave on the Oskaloosa property of Floyd’s parents, where Tom lived at the time.

Several pieces of evidence are listed in the motion for testing, such as Arfmann’s clothing found at the scene. Bledsoe’s attorneys say they hope testing will point to someone other than Floyd as the killer.

The motion is just the latest in more than a decade of legal maneuvers in the case. In 2008, a U.S. District Court ruled that Bledsoe should be freed from prison because he was denied his constitutional right to effective counsel.

But following an appeal by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the higher court reversed the decision, returning Bledsoe to prison.

Bledsoe is imprisoned at the Lansing Correctional Facility.