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New judge assigned in Kevin Strickland case, delays case further

Kevin Strickland
Posted at 5:54 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:55:25-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The Missouri Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday appointing a new judge in the case reviewing the 1979 triple murder conviction of Kevin Strickland.

The ruling likely further delays a hearing the case, which had been set for Oct. 5-6.

READ THE RULING

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt's office argued that a comment from the Jackson County Circuit Court created the appearance of impartiality in the case.

While the Missouri Supreme Court found that comments made by the circuit court were not improper, they did create a possible perception of impartiality.

The ruling takes Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Harrell off the case and installs former Missouri Court of Appeals Western District Judge James E. Welsh to the case.

It was not immediately clear where Welsh would hear the case, nor has any additional court hearings been set, though a spokesperson from the Midwest Innocence Project expects further delays.

"While we are disappointed in the decision, we are confident that any judge who hears the evidence will find that Kevin Strickland is innocent and end this decades long injustice," the spokesperson said. "We hope this is the last delay the Attorney General is permitted to exercise."

This is a developing story and may be updated.