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High Court upholds Gleason death penalty
Gleason was convicted of 2004 double murder in Barton County
new deh capital murder supreme court gleason mug
Sidney Gleason

The United States Supreme Court Monday rejected convicted killer Sidney Gleason’s appeal of his death penalty sentence, Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor announced Tuesday afternoon.

Gleason, 38, was convicted in 2006 of capital murder in the 2004 deaths of Mikiala “Miki” Martinez and Darren Wornkey in Barton County. Mellor said was charged with capital murder for killing Martinez and Wornkey, the aggravating kidnapping of Martinez, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery of a third person, and criminal possession of a firearm. 

Gleason was convicted in Barton County District Court on all counts except the attempted first-degree murder charge, Mellor said. The jury also determined that a sentence of death should be imposed. 

However, 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court approved the convictions but reversed Gleason’s death sentence, finding error in the jury instructions. The Kansas Attorney General appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in February of 2016 that court reversed the decision of the Kansas Supreme Court regarding the death sentence.

When the case was returned to the Kansas Supreme Court, the justices affirmed the death penalty and Gleason appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a brief, one-line sentence, the United States Supreme Court denied Gleason’s appeal of the death sentence. As is traditional, the nine justices did not give a reason for their decision.

Mellor said Gleason’s direct appeals are over but he will probably attempt to exhaust other avenues in the courts before an execution date is set.

“Yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court brings to an end the direct appeals in this case and leaves the conviction and death sentence intact. Although the defendant may choose to pursue further post-conviction remedies, we are encouraged the case is continuing to move ahead,” said Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Gleason remains incarcerated at Eldorado Correctional Facility. 

An accomplice in the killings, Damien Thompson, agreed to plead guilty to the first-degree murder of Martinez and testify against Gleason in exchange for a life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.