Convicted Killer No Longer On Death Row

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TOPEKA, Kan. — A man once convicted of capital murder has been given a new trial, after the Kansas Supreme Court reversed his conviction for murdering a sheriff in 2005.

Scott Cheever was convicted of killing Greenwood County Sheriff Matthew Samuels. Samuels was serving a warrant at a home suspected of have a meth lab inside. Cheever admitted shooting Samuels but said he was high and didn’t premeditate the murder.

In the appeal, the Supreme Court sided with Cheever, who claimed through his attorneys that a psychiatrist who testified during the trial should not have been allowed to tell the jury about a court-ordered mental examination.

The district court had allowed the psychiatrist to testify even though Cheever’s defense did not include mental health issues, a decision the justices decided was a constitutional error.

Cheever was also convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine and criminal possession of a firearm. Those convictions were upheld by the Supreme Court of Kansas.

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