courts

Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

A Johnson County judge agreed Thursday to let accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. represent himself in court, a decision that could have far-reaching implications as the state pursues its capital case.

Cross, a known anti-Semite who has bragged to the media about killing three people last spring at two Overland Park Jewish sites, has repeatedly told Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan he doesn't trust his lawyers and wants them fired.

Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office

Update, 11:16 a.m.:

After a weighty silence, a Johnson County District Court judge agreed to let accused Jewish Community Center shooter Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. defend himself. 

His attorneys - Martin Warhurst, Mark Manna and Jeffrey Dazey - will stay on as "standby counsel" in what may be the first capital case in Kansas where the defendant represents himself. 

"Do you understand, sir, at trial, you're going to be held to the same standard as an attorney?" Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan asked Cross. 

A Kansas Senate committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to study the governor’s choice to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Court of Appeals. Gov. Sam Brownback has picked Topeka attorney Kathryn Gardner to fill the open seat.

During the hearing, senators will hear from any supporters and opponents of Gardner’s nomination. Then, senators will have a chance to pepper Gardner with questions about her experience and qualifications.

When Brownback announced that Gardner would be his pick, he said she meets the standards Kansans set for judges.

Family law can be a messy profession. Between acrimonious divorces and bitter custody battles, the terrain is often rocky and difficult to navigate.

In the first part of  Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with a lawyer who’s spent nearly 30 years balancing these types of battles. We’ll discuss how family lawyers stay detached from the raw emotions of their cases, why she sometimes feels like she’s a therapist for her clients, and why personal grievances should stay out of court—even in a divorce case.

The Kansas court system is facing a multi-million dollar deficit next fiscal year. An advisory group formed to help bridge that gap is meeting for the first time Monday in Topeka.

Gov. Sam Brownback's nominee for a seat on the Kansas Court of Appeals is headed for the job. The state Senate confirmed Caleb Stegall Wednesday in a party-line 32-8 vote.

Brownback chose Stegall, his administration's top attorney, for the job on the state's second-highest court. It's the first selection under a new process where the governor chooses nominees for the Court of Appeals, who then must be confirmed by the Senate.

Gag Order Charge Stirs Priestly Abuse Case

Jan 3, 2012

The quest for discovery of evidence in an alleged priestly abuse case in Kansas City is turning more complicated. A Jackson County Circuit Judge has ordered a third party to turn over records. And its executive director says he will not.