LAWRENCE, Kan. – After four days in court, a former Kansas State University professor convicted of killing his ex-wife is now done with his civil trial appealing his conviction.
The high profile 2003 Lawrence murder was once the focus of national media. Thomas Murray now awaits the judge’s decision on his appeal. There was no ruling on the Friday because the judge still needs to review briefs on the case. That could take at least two months until there’s a ruling.
The victims family says they’re just ready for this to be over with.
Over the last four days, Thomas Murray’s lawyer Adam Hall argued that there should be a new trial because of ineffective counsel. In 2005, Murray was found guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Lawrence attorney and peace advocate Carmin Ross. Hall argues that Murray’s attorneys at that time should have done more to fight certain evidence like the computer searches on how to kill someone and what he considers to be questionable DNA evidence.
But Angela Wilson defended the state in court, saying Murray was convicted based on many factors.
“His counsel repeatedly went above and beyond,” Wilson said. “He got an extremely competent defense at trial.”
Carmin Ross’ family packed the courtroom all week. Danny Ross says it’s painful to sit through another trial hearing about his daughter’s brutal murder again and again.
“I want to put those things out of my mind and go on with my life,” said Ross, “but I want justice and I haven’t gotten it yet.”
Ross says it’s especially tough for Carmin’s daughter who was just four at the time of the murder. Ciara is 14 now and asks lots of questions, and Ross says this is all hard for her.
He says that he can’t help but wonder why the legal system allows this to go on, and whether changes are needed.
“It’s a joke, it’s a waste of taxpayers money, it’s a waste of the professionals who have to defend the case, it’s a waste of higher courts to look at it,” Ross said. “But that’s our legal system and he has that right.”