Defendant Thinks Murder Tattoo Might Hurt His Case

Jeffrey Chapman’s trial on murder charges begins Monday in Benton County, Kansas. The crime occurred in 2011, and at this late date, Chapman is concerned that the jury may be prejudiced by the large tattoo of the word “murder” on his neck.

According to the motion filed by defense attorney Kurt Kerns, Wichita, Chapman has asked the jail to allow a professional tattoo artist to remove and/or cover up the tattoo across his neck that is a mirror image of the word “murder” in capital letters. The motion notes it is a large tattoo that cannot be easily hidden with clothing.

“Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail,” the motion states. “Mr. Chapman’s tattoos are not relevant to any material facts and Mr. Chapman asks for the court to exclude any mention of his tattoos at trial and further to be allowed to cover them up in an appropriate manner. The fact that he has ‘Murder’ tattooed across his neck is irrelevant to the State’s case and extremely prejudicial to Mr. Chapman if introduced at trial or observed by the jury.”

Sheriff Brian Bellendir points out that it is against Kansas law for a tattoo artist to work anywhere outside of a licensed tattoo parlor, and the state is not willing to transport Chapman out of the jail. It is not clear whether the tattoo was done before or after the crime for which Chapman is being tried. -via Uproxx


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