Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Local man could receive new sentences

November 16, 2005

The Kansas Supreme Court has said it would not review the case of two men convicted in the 2003 statutory rape of an intoxicated 13-year-old Lawrence girl -- a decision that sets the stage for the men to be sentenced again.

The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled this summer that it was an abuse of discretion for Douglas County District Judge Paula B. Martin to give Brian K. Ussery and William N. Haney probation after they were convicted of rape. The court ordered Martin to sentence the men again, but defense attorneys put that on hold, asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the case and review the appeals court's decision.

And now, the state's high court has announced it would not review the case, which means the two men likely will be brought back before Martin in coming weeks for new sentences.

Haney, of Lawrence, and Ussery, of Tonganoxie, both received 60 days in jail, probation and community service after being convicted of rape, which normally carries a penalty of at least 13 years in prison. The sentences led to an unsuccessful effort to vote Martin off the bench in last year's retention election.

Martin sent Haney to prison earlier this year after several probation violations.

A third co-defendant, Michael J. Rayton -- who entered a plea to the lesser charge of aggravated indecent liberties with a child -- also is accused of violating probation, but Martin has not yet decided whether to send him to prison.

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