TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court in Topeka is considering the appeal of a man sentenced to die over the killings of a Great Bend couple in 2004.
The justices heard arguments Friday in the case of Sidney Gleason. He is challenging his convictions for capital murder and other crimes and his death sentence.
Arguing for the State were Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Deputy Solicitor General Kristafer Ailslieger. Appearing on behalf of Gleason was Sarah Johnson, capital appellate defender.
According to the high court’s docket, the appeal is being based on 10 factors. These include:
1. Lack of subject-matter jurisdiction for capital murder
2. Failure to give lesser of felony murder
3. Failure to instruct jury on specific intent
4. Multiplicitous convictions
5. Failure to prove elements of capital murder
6. Improper finding of unavailable witness
7. Failure to grant mistrial after witness refuses to testify
8. Prosecutorial misconduct (closing argument)
9. Death penalty disportionate
10. Improper sentencing verdict forms
11. Insufficient evidence of aggravating factors
The murder victims were Miki Martinez and boyfriend Darren Wornkey. Their deaths were days after the robbery of a 76-year-old man in February 2004.
Prosecutors say Gleason and cousin Damien Thompson worried about what Martinez would tell police about the robbery.
Workney was shot while he sat in his Jeep outside his home. Martinez was taken to a rural area and strangled and shot.
Thompson avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to Martinez’s murder and testifying against Gleason.