Man Accused Of Murder Wants ‘Murder’ Tattoo Removed From Neck Before Trial
A man accused of murder has requested that the “murder” tattoo he has prominently displayed on the front of his neck be removed before he stands trial.
Jeffrey Wade Chapman, who is accused of killing a man, has filed a motion in the Barton County District Court asking that his body art not be seen or mentioned at all during the trial. Chapman and his lawyers are understandably worried that the word “murder” on the defendant’s neck will prejudice the jury.
The defendant is charged with first degree murder relating to a shooting in which Damon Galyardt was found by hunters in a field in Kansas in November 2011
The motion, which was filed by Chapman’s attorney, Kurt Kerns, asked that the jail allow a professional tattoo artist to totally remove, or at least cover up the tattoo. They claim that the tattoo is so prominent that due to its size it cannot be covered by clothing.
The GB Tribune reported that the motion states that: “Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail. 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.’
State prosecutors aren’t having any of it though, and they have said that Chapman can cover the ink with “clothing, bandage or other means compliant with jail policy.” Sheriff Brian Bellendir told the court that due to Kansas Administrative Code 69-15-14 it is forbidden for tattoo artists to performing inkings outside of licensed facilities due to strict cleanliness standards.
More than that, Chapman’s lawyers have also requested a venue change, claiming that the pre-trial publicity will make it for their client to find an impartial jury for his trial. The trial is set to get underway on April 28, and should last less than a month.