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Jury Calls for Death in 5 Kansas Murders

Two Wichita brothers were convicted of forcing victims to engage in sex acts before shooting them on a snowy soccer field.

November 15, 2002|From Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. — Jurors returned a verdict of death Thursday for two brothers convicted of shooting five people on a snow-covered soccer field.

It took jurors about seven hours to decide the sentence for Reginald Carr, who turned 25 Thursday, and his brother Jonathan, 22. They were convicted last week of capital murder for the December 2000 deaths of four of the victims, and of attempted murder for the shooting of the fifth.

The brothers also were convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting of another woman four days before that attack.

In their closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutors urged jurors to show the brothers the same mercy the two showed the five friends, ages 25 to 29, who were forced to engage in sex acts with each other before they were shot on the soccer field. The women also were raped.

"What murder would warrant the death penalty, if it is not this? It defies reason to think torturous slaughter of these four young people who gave no fight," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Kim Parker.

Defense attorneys said just one juror could decide to show the brothers mercy and spare their lives. If the judge rejects the jury's recommendation, the brothers will spend at least 50 years in prison.

"Any one of you can decide to save this young man's life," Ron Evans, Jonathan Carr's attorney, had said.

"You can decide there is some good there. There is something worth saving."

Jay Greeno, the attorney for Reginald Carr, said his client was the product of an abusive household, and he urged jurors to think about the effect an execution would have on Carr's three young children.

The only survivor of the shootings, then a 25-year-old teacher, ran naked through the snow to get help after she and her friends were taken to the field, lined up on their knees and shot. She identified her attackers and testified against them at the trial.

During the trial, the brothers tried to blame each other for the killings. Jonathan Carr's attorney said his client was innocent of some of the crimes and that his brother was the leader in the quadruple murder. Reginald Carr's attorney contended that most DNA evidence pointed to Jonathan Carr.

Kansas has not had an execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1994.

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