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Friday, March 28, 2008

KCK murder suspect goes free because he didn't get a speedy trial

From Bob Cronkleton:

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled today that a murder charge against a Kansas City, Kan., man be dismissed because his rights to a speedy trial were violated.

The Supreme Court found that the case against Mario Larenzo Mitchell, 21, must be dismissed and that he is free from further prosecution relating to the murder.

Mitchell was awaiting trial in Wyandotte County District Court regarding the murder of Keith Watson, 19.

Mitchell allegedly shot Watson to death about 2:20 a.m. Jan. 8, 2005, at a gas station at 4701 Parallel Parkway. Mitchell allegedly walked up and fired at Watson several times while he was sitting in a vehicle at a gas pump.

Mitchell’s first trial ended in mistrial in September 2005. He was shot that same day and waived his right to a speedy trial.

Jury selection for his new trial began March 26, 2007. The next day prosecutors appealed a district court ruling regarding Mitchell’s prior juvenile record.

The court then suspended the proceedings pending the appeal. Mitchell objected to the appeal and reasserted his rights to a speedy trial.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mitchell.

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