Sentencing for Justin Rey once again delayed until June as more motions filed

OLATHE, Kan. -- Friday was another typical day in court with Justin Rey. His sentencing was delayed yet again in a day full of motions and outbursts.

Rey was back in the Johnson County courtroom where he was found guilty of child endangerment, child misconduct and sexual exploitation of a child.

Those charges came after he was found living in a Lenexa storage unit with his two young daughters and the dismembered body of his wife in a cooler. He is not facing charges in his wife's death.

Rey fired his former lawyer, Scott Toth, during the first scheduled sentencing in April. He's now represented by Carl Cornwell who made a motion Friday to send Rey back to Larned State Hospital.

Doctors there previously found Rey competent to stand trial, determining he doesn't have a mental defect that could be used for an insanity defense.

“This is different,” Cornwell said. “This kind of cuts in the middle there. Maybe he didn’t have a mental disease of defect. Maybe he is competent, but there is something else going on in his brain housing group that they need to address.”

Cornwell said if the judge does grant that motion, Rey could spend whatever time he's eventually sentenced to at Larned instead of prison. As long as the doctors there continue to say they're able to help him, he could stay.

It's Cornwell’s best option at keeping Rey out of prison. But Rey said he doesn't want to go back to the hospital. He wants to go home.

“We didn’t move very far, but we made some steps forward. I think we are in a position that he and I are going to start understanding each other, and I think we are going to be able to move forward and get this thing done,” Cornwell said. “He has a mental illness. And so when you try and talk to someone who has a mental illness, they don’t. You just have to be patient.”

During the trial where Rey was found guilty, he was represented by Toth. During Rey’s first sentencing in April, he fired Toth, saying he wanted to represent himself.

Rey also filing a motion of ineffective council, saying Toth made mistakes that caused the jury to find Rey guilty.

Cornwell said he doesn't think Toth provided ineffective council.

“I know Mr. Toth,” Cornwell said. “Now I need to look at it, and I am going to do everything I can. But I know him, and I know him to be a very thorough and very conscientious and a hell of a trial lawyer.”

The sentencing was again postponed Friday because in order to decide if Toth was ineffective at trial, he will take the stand and answer questions from both the prosecutor and defense council.

Then the judge will decide if she will grant that motion, which could lead to a new trial.

That will take place June 28. If the judge decides Toth provided good council, the sentencing should move forward that day.

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