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Prosecutors Downplay Racial Element in Kansas Murder Trial
CNSNEWS.com ^ | 10/10/02 | Jim Burns

Posted on 10/10/2002 10:08:53 PM PDT by kattracks

Editorial note: Readers may find some material in this article objectionable.)

(CNSNews.com) - Prosecutors in Wichita, Kan. are seeking the death penalty for two African-American brothers accused of murdering five white people and wounding a sixth in a shooting spree that has become known locally as the "Wichita Massacre" and the "Wichita Horror."

Some residents in the area claim the murders would have been prosecuted as hate crimes had the skin color of the alleged gunmen and their victims been reversed. However, Sedgwick County, Kansas District Attorney Nola Foulston reportedly said she would not charge the suspects with committing hate crimes because she believes the murders were motivated by robbery and not racial hatred.

Foulston noted that the state of Kansas does not have a hate crime statute. She refused interview requests from CNSNews.com for more comment on the story.

A spokesman for Foulston said the district attorney is under a gag order not to talk about the case until it's over. Attorneys Val Wachtel and Jay Greeno representing the defendants, Jonathan and Reginald Carr, confirmed they were also under a gag order.

A spokesperson for Sedgwick County District Judge Paul Clark, who is the presiding judge in the case, told CNSNews.com that the gag order was imposed during the jury selection and other pre-trial activity and was not in effect now.

Meanwhile, trial testimony continued Thursday.

The Carr brothers have been charged with 113 counts of murder, robbery, rape and other crimes. The two are accused of unleashing a crime spree that began Dec. 7, 2000 when they allegedly kidnapped a 23-year old man from a Wichita convenience store and robbed him.

Several days later, according to prosecutors, the Carrs shot a female outside her Wichita home. She died several days later from her injuries.

On Dec.14, the Carrs allegedly broke into the home of three young men who were hosting two female guests. Later that night, prosecutors said the Carrs drove the five people to a deserted soccer field, forced them to kneel in the snow and shot each of them in the back of the head.

Prosecutors said the brothers then drove a truck over the four dead bodies.

The surviving female, whose name is not being released, testified Wednesday that she ran naked for over a mile in freezing temperatures to the nearest house to get help. She also testified that a plastic hair clip deflected the bullet and prevented it from entering her skull.

She identified both Jonathan and Reginald Carr as the armed intruders who attacked her.

Her four friends who died were identified as Jason Befort, a local high school teacher; Brad Heyka, a director of finance with a local financial services company; Heather Muller, a local preschool teacher; and Aaron Sandler, a former financial analyst who had been studying to become a priest.

The trial is expected to last four to six weeks. It has sparked debate within the Wichita citizenry.

"If this had been two white males accused of killing four black individuals, the media would be on a feeding frenzy and every satellite news organization would be in Wichita doing live reports," said Trent Hungate of Wichita in a recent letter to the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

The Wichita Eagle itself, in its Thursday editorial, wrote "reliving horrible crime is hard for the community."

"The defendants are being fairly treated by the court and aggressively defended by their lawyers. We must presume their innocence until they are proved guilty. They are getting their day in court. So are the victims," the paper stated.

"The randomness of the attacks was especially chilling. It could have been anyone. But we go on with our work, hold our loved ones a little closer, and face down our fears as best we can. The survivors are showing us how," the editorial concluded.

E-mail a news tip to Jim Burns.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: blackracism; hatecrimes; mediabias; murder; nolafoulston; racism; rape; sedgwickcounty; sodomy; wichitahorror; wichitamassacre
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1 posted on 10/10/2002 10:08:53 PM PDT by kattracks
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: kattracks
The details of this crime sent a chill to my bones, and made me doubt that G_d could have created these two black punks.
3 posted on 10/10/2002 10:21:37 PM PDT by CIBvet
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To: kattracks
The details of this crime sent a chill to my bones, and made me doubt that G_d could have created these two black punks.
4 posted on 10/10/2002 10:21:37 PM PDT by CIBvet
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To: kattracks
Nothing here indicates these people were killed because they were white.

It the author a biggot. Assums all black on white crime is racist?
5 posted on 10/10/2002 10:27:31 PM PDT by ImphClinton
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To: CIBvet
On Dec.14, the Carrs allegedly broke into the home of three young men who were hosting two female guests.

Later that night, prosecutors said the Carrs drove the five people to a deserted soccer field, forced them to kneel in the snow and shot each of them in the back of the head.

Prosecutors said the brothers then drove a truck over the four dead bodies.

And what has this got to do with robbery?

6 posted on 10/10/2002 10:28:55 PM PDT by kattracks
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To: enfield
I think she's just trying to make sure these murderers get a uneventful and expeditious trip to the gas chamber. Give her grief if that doesn't happen.
7 posted on 10/10/2002 10:29:13 PM PDT by Crowcreek
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To: ImphClinton
I think the general opinion is that if this had been two white brothers that broke in on a black owned townhouse and the crime was exactly the same it would be all over the media, there would be anti-hate protest marches and the white brothers would be tried for hate crimes. I do believe in equal opportunity evil sprees tho.
8 posted on 10/10/2002 10:31:22 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: kattracks
I read on another thread that it took 18 days to select the jury.

I would not be surprised if these sh!tbags were acquited, as a result of the jury selection process (which throws out anyone with a shred of intelligence or decency).

9 posted on 10/10/2002 10:31:23 PM PDT by Mulder
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To: ImphClinton
Not all black on white crime is racist, but I remember vividly all the murders of Asian and white storeowners and clerks in Philly and I GUARANTEE YOU there was a racial hatred element.
10 posted on 10/10/2002 10:35:31 PM PDT by Skywalk
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To: Crowcreek
I think it's time to FREEP THE BIG BOYS!

Click here to email Major News Outlets on this Subject

11 posted on 10/10/2002 10:44:15 PM PDT by Lunatic Fringe
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To: kattracks
If it were just about robbery... They would only have been robbed.
12 posted on 10/10/2002 10:49:05 PM PDT by BradyLS
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To: kattracks
 
Thing One and Thing Two, before the pre-trail cleanup.

13 posted on 10/10/2002 10:51:14 PM PDT by timpad
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To: ImphClinton
Please read through my post #46 here: Wichita Case of Black Racist Crime Survivor's testimony horrifies courtroom

14 posted on 10/10/2002 11:00:57 PM PDT by AnnaZ
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To: Black Agnes
Howdy there. This is interesting:

The Wichita Eagle itself, in its Thursday editorial, wrote "... The defendants are ... getting their day in court. So are the victims," .

That is one bizarre statement. I ain't never heard a no dead person getting their day in court [bad grammar purposefully used]. It's kinda hard to get your day in court when you're DEAD. I guess when you're trying your best, with pen and ink, either to keep the natives from becoming too restless, or at the behest of your masters, idiocies like this one will occasionally slip through.

15 posted on 10/10/2002 11:10:31 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: Auntie Mame
True. The victims are buried. Unless they've exhumed them for purposes of this trial...EW.
16 posted on 10/10/2002 11:16:54 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
Then that too would be wrong. We can't have it both ways. If we critize unjust cases against whites we also need to critize them against blacks. This Article is unjustified. No version of it indicates these men ever said they were going to go out and kill some White Boys. They wore a Hat that is popular among blacks who cares.
17 posted on 10/10/2002 11:33:04 PM PDT by ImphClinton
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Comment #18 Removed by Moderator

To: enfield
Why can't we Honkies be smart enough to put this kind of thing in the past.

All crime is hate related. This was particularlly brutal. It is too bad we don't tourture criminals like this. But Christ would have not approved of tourture.

Death Penalty is sufficient. Why should prosecutors have wasted money investigating something that could not add to their case anyway?
19 posted on 10/10/2002 11:38:26 PM PDT by ImphClinton
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To: ImphClinton
In any event, the additional punishment, were this to be treated as a 'hate crime', seems rather, shall we say.....superfluous..... when one considers that this is a death penalty case.

Dead is dead, ya just cain't get much deader than that, huh?

20 posted on 10/10/2002 11:39:01 PM PDT by Psycho Francis
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