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A Sedgwick County district judge on Tuesday quashed a subpoena that sought to compel Wichita Eagle reporter Tim Potter to testify about contacts he had with lawyers representing inmates who claimed they were sexually abused in the county jail.
Judge Joe Kisner quashed the subpoena filed by attorney Charles O’Hara, who is representing former jail guard David Kendall. Kendall in 2012 was named in criminal court charges alleging he sexually abused jail inmates. The allegations against Kendall, and other issues involving management of the Sedgwick County Jail, became a dominant political issue last year when Wichita police Capt. Jeff Easter defeated incumbent Robert Hinshaw in the August primary election for sheriff.
At a hearing on Tuesday, O’Hara argued that Potter had taken a news release sent out by O’Hara’s office about the Kendall case and e-mailed it to attorney Kurt Kerns, who is representing alleged victims in pending civil litigation involving the sex abuse allegations. O’Hara argued to Kisner that sending that e-mail opened the door to O’Hara questioning Potter about what Kerns and another attorney, Mark Schoenhofer, might have said in conversations. Schoenhofer also is representing former inmates.
A jury has found a Wichita doctor responsible for more than $1.2 million in damages in a malpractice case.
After a trial that lasted about three weeks, the jury on June 11 reached its verdict against physician Brian DeBrot over his treatment of Barbara Mae Castleberry, who died in January 2009, a little over a year after she suffered a major stroke. In 2009, Castleberry’s husband and adult children filed a lawsuit against DeBrot in Sedgwick County District Court.
According to written instructions the jurors were given to consider, the Castleberrys said that DeBrot “failed to follow standard of care” by, among other things, not ruling out the most dangerous condition – a stroke or a condition that can be a precursor to a stroke – when he treated Barbara Castleberry on two occasions in December 2007. Her family contended that DeBrot failed to properly evaluate and treat the woman after she said she was dizzy and had numbness and tingling in her hand and feet, blurred vision and other symptoms, according to jury instructions filed in court. Instead, DeBrot diagnosed Castleberry with carpal tunnel syndrome, a less serious condition.
A man was convicted Friday of strangling a Wichita woman in 2011 while on parole for murdering a woman in Lawrence more than two decades earlier.
A Sedgwick County jury deliberated less than four hours before convicting Tyrone Walker, 47, of first-degree murder in the death of Janis Sanders, 44. Her nude body was found between an abandoned house and a small business in the 1100 block of South Washington on June 4, 2011.
During his trial, jurors were told that Walker was convicted in Douglas County of second-degree murder in the death of Tamara Baker, 25, who was reported missing on Oct. 31, 1989. Her body was found six months later in a wooded area of Lawrence. Walker was sentenced to 12 years to life in prison on that charge and was paroled to Wichita in February 2011.
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