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Mo. Court Upholds Conviction in Police Slaying

Posted: Jul 16, 2013 5:21 PM by The Associated Press
Updated: Jul 16, 2013 5:31 PM

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a death row inmate who shot a suburban St. Louis police officer.

The court's 5-2 decision Tuesday dealt with Kevin Johnson. He was convicted of fatally shooting Kirkwood Police Sgt. Bill McEntee in 2005.

Johnson's current attorneys raised about a dozen claims that his original attorneys were ineffective. Among other things, they claimed the presence of numerous uniformed police in the courtroom and halls could have influenced jurors to find Johnson guilty.

Judge George Draper III rejected that argument in the Supreme Court's majority opinion.

But judges Patricia Breckenridge and Laura Denvir Stith dissented. They said Johnson's attorneys should have objected to the police presence, and he deserves a hearing on whether he got a fair trial.

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