Paul D. Cramm


Mark Woodworth Free on Bond Pending New Trial

An emotional homecoming for inmate released pending third murder trial By TONY RIZZO The Kansas City Star Unshackled and free, wearing his own clothes for the first time in 13 years, Mark Woodworth emerged from a county jail Friday afternoon into a sea of smiling faces and a boisterous cheer. About 100 family members and friends, some who had waited for hours, came to greet the 38-year-old man who had spent all but 14 months behind bars since 1993, when he was still a teenager. Saying he felt overwhelmed, Woodworth wore a huge grin as he thanked them for their… Read More →

Fingerprint Match Jails Innocent Man

Wrong Garcia is jailed for manslaughter when fingerprints match By ERIC ADLER The Kansas City Star Usually, when fingerprints match, you think you have your man. Tell that to Adalberto Izaquierdo Garcia of Mexico. The 36-year-old stood in line to legally enter the United States just before Christmas to attend the funeral of his recently deceased mother. Instead, he was arrested on an outstanding Jackson County manslaughter warrant in a crime that now even prosecutors concede he didn’t commit. In fact, he’d never been in Missouri. Were it not for some long-kept DNA, he might have remained here in prison… Read More →

Defense lawyer admits money laundering in drug case

By MARK MORRIS The Kansas City Star A prominent Kansas City criminal defense lawyer pleaded guilty Wednesday in Kansas federal court to laundering money that he thought came from illegal drug sales. In reality, the money came from an undercover federal agent involved in a sting operation. Ronald E. Partee, 66, admitted that he and the operators of a Northland credit counseling service, Forbes and Newhard Credit Solutions, agreed to help hide the source of the money. Partee discussed the storage of marijuana, according to federal court records. He also advised the undercover agent on the risk of using drug… Read More →

Amendment on judge selection advances in Kansas

By BRAD COOPER The Kansas City Star The Kansas Legislature took a big step Wednesday toward making a sweeping change in how appeals court judges are picked. The Senate voted 28-12 to pass a constitutional amendment that would give the governor the power to pick appellate judges. That measure would let the governor select judges for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. The nominations would have to be confirmed by the Senate. The bill needed two-thirds support of the Senate — or 27 votes — for passage. The bill now goes to the House, where Democrats believe… Read More →

District attorney says Shawnee violated spirit of open meetings law

By KAREN DILLON The Kansas City Star The Shawnee City Council violated the spirit of the Kansas open meetings law when “backroom deals” were made to elect the mayor’s uncle to a council seat, Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe said Wednesday. Howe’s decision was especially hard on Mayor Jeff Meyers, saying he found the mayor’s actions “unacceptable.” Meyers did not return phone calls asking for comment. The problem began last May when the Ward 2 seat was vacated and the council had to find a replacement. Several people applied, including Mike Kemmling, who had just lost a council race… Read More →

Blue Springs Man Charged in Fatal Car Accident

Man charged in fatal accident A Blue Springs man was charged with involuntary manslaughter and resisting arrest Monday after a car crash Sunday night in Blue Springs killed a passenger in his vehicle. Michael L. Garzee, 29, was driving when he crashed into a utility pole during a police pursuit. Dustin A. Wardlow, 29, of Overland Park, was pronounced dead at the scene. Three and a half hours later, police said, Garzee’s blood-alcohol content was .122 percent, well over the legal limit of .08 percent. The incident was reported about 10 p.m. Officers from the Lake Tapawingo Police Department tried… Read More →

No Criminal Charges in Death of KCK Infant

No foul play apparent in KCK baby death Kansas City, Kan., police said there did not appear to be any foul play involved in the death of an infant this afternoon. Police were called about noon to a residence in the 700 block of S. 10th Street concerning the 5-month-old boy. Detectives are awaiting an autopsy report to determine the cause of death, but initial indications were that it may have been a SIDS case or an accident, according to police.

Court sets aside 2 of Casey Anthony’s convictions

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida appellate court has set aside two of the four convictions Casey Anthony faced for lying to detectives during the investigation into her missing 2-year-old daughter Caylee. Judges on the 5th District Court of Appeals agreed with Anthony’s attorneys Friday that two of the charges constituted double jeopardy, or being convicted more than once for the same crime. The judges, however, ruled that the trial court was correct to allow her statements to detectives to be used during her murder trial. Anthony’s attorneys had argued that she was in police custody at the time and hadn’t… Read More →

Trio wrongfully convicted of murder released after 18 years in prison

NEW YORK — Three men walked out of jail into the arms of family members Wednesday night after 18 years in prison on murder convictions. In an emotional reunion with his family on a Bronx street, Michael Cosme, 37, screamed, “I’m free, I’m free. Finally, after 18 years, I’m free.” Cosme, Devon Ayers and Carlos Perez were convicted in the murders of a livery cab driver and a FedEx executive in 1995. But nearly two decades later, prosecutors learned two gang members confessed to murdering the cab driver, and the rest of the case unraveled, documented in a joint WNBC/Dateline… Read More →

Olathe Man Charged with Rape in Overland Park

A 22-year-old Olathe man was arrested Tuesday on charges of raping a woman over the summer in Overland Park. Sean Paul Tullgren was charged last week with one count of rape for allegedly forcing a woman at a July 4th party to have sexual intercourse without her consent. Tullgren was being held in the Johnson County jail on $100,000 bond. Tullgren requested and the Court appointed the Public Defender’s Office to provide his defense.