Riley County deputy attorney arguing against Carr brothers in appeal in Wichita murder spree case

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May 22—A Riley County deputy attorney on Monday will present oral arguments against a pair of brothers convicted for a murder, rape and robbery spree in Wichita in 2000.

Jonathan and Reginald Carr will be back before the Kansas Supreme Court seeking to avoid the death penalty.

David Lowden, who has been with Riley County since January 2000, previously served as an assistant Sedgwick County attorney and has been responsible for the appeals since the brothers' convictions in 2002.

The brothers had been charged with four counts of capital murder, one count of first-degree murder and 13 counts of rape. The counts stemmed from multiple crimes including the Dec. 14, 2000 deaths of Jason Befort, 26; Brad Heyka, 27; Heather Muller, 25; and Aaron Sander, 29.

The Carrs had forced the group to perform sexual acts with them and each other for hours before being taking them to ATMs to drain their bank accounts. They then took the group to a frozen soccer field, made them kneel and shot them all in the back of the head.

Another unidentified woman was brutalized and shot during that incident, but a hair clip diverted the bullet, sparing her. She ran to a house for help and to report the murders. Police and prosecutors additionally linked the brothers to a carjacking and robbery of a 23-year-old man and the shooting death of Linda Walenta, all of which occurred earlier that same month.

Monday's proceedings will consider 20 issues that had been brought up during the original appeal. The Kansas Supreme Court did not address them in 2014 because it had already decided on other grounds to overturn the Carrs' death sentences.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 later overturned the state court's decision, ruling that Kansas justices had improperly applied federal law in the case.

Some of the issues on appeal include whether the brothers' Constitutional rights were violated when their penalty phases at trial were combined, as well as whether the trial judge correctly instructed the jury, among others.

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