The jury trial for Jeffrey Wade Chapman that was scheduled to get under way on Monday has been rescheduled for August in Barton County District Court. Chapman is charged with first degree murder in the death of Damon Leslie Galyardt, who was killed Nov. 11, 2011.
Chapman was appointed a new defense attorney in March and the new trial date was at the request of that attorney, Kelly R. Driscoll from the Reno County Public Defender’s Office.
District Judge Ron Svaty has scheduled two full weeks for the jury trial, starting Aug. 5 and concluding Aug. 16, with a break for the weekend. A pre-trial hearing is set for July 1,
Previously, Chapman was represented by Wichita attorneys Jeffrey Wicks and Tim Frieden of the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit. They were appointed even though the state is not seeking the death penalty if Chapman is found guilty. But on March 6 Judge Svaty heard statements from the attorneys and granted their request to withdraw from the case because of a conflict of interest. Court records show that “on Feb. 28 counsel became aware of a possible conflict that would prevent their continued representation of Mr. Chapman in this action.” They discussed the possible conflict with Kansas Disciplinary Administrator's Office. The nature of the conflict was not included in the journal entry.
Chapman, 31, from Pawnee Rock, has entered a plea of “not guilty” to murdering Galyardt, whose body was found by hunters in rural Barton County on Nov. 12, 2011. Galyardt was 25 years old and died from a gunshot wound.