by John Boyd
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:25 PM CDT, August 24, 2012
The man convicted of killing Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels has been granted a new trial. The Capital Murder conviction against Scott Cheever was overturned.
The State Supreme Court cited violations to Cheever's 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. The unanimous decision reverses the Capital Murder conviction, along with four counts of Attempted Capital Murder against Cheever.
Cheever's convictions of criminal possession of a firearm and manufacture of methamphetamine were NOT overturned.
The main reason the Justices made this decision is because the court allowed a psychiatrist to testify about statements Cheever made to him during a mental exam. But Cheever's defense did not use mental disease or defect as part of his defense - therefore the psychiatrist's statement should not have been allowed.
The court ruled that although the privileged psychiatric report could have been admitted if the defense had made an attempt to show mental defect or insanity, the defense presented only involuntary intoxication at the time law enforcement officers were attempting to arrest him at a home in 2005.
The new trial will be held in Greenwood County. The official mandate will be filed in 30 days. At that time, the judge will start moving ahead with the case. We won't know when the new trial will start.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt released a statement about the decision. "We are carefully reviewing the Supreme Court's opinion. We will be consulting with appropriate parties over the next few days to determine the best course of action to ensure justice is served."
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