(AP) — Lawyers for a Topeka man charged in a capital murder case want a judge to dismiss the charge.
Phillip D. Cheatham Jr. was found guilty in 2005 of the slayings of two women and the severe wounding of a third woman in 2003. Those convictions were thrown out this year after the Kansas Supreme Court found Cheatham didn’t have competent counsel.
Defense Attorney Paul Oller of Hays said during a retrial hearing that Kansas law prohibits prosecuting someone for a primary felony if that person has already been tried for an underlying felony in the same case. He says Cheatham’s previous convictions for first-degree murder fit that law.
Prosecutors say the double jeopardy claim shouldn’t apply because Cheatham’s convictions were thrown out and he faces a retrial.