Posts Tagged ‘Barton County District Court’

A Billboard for Brainlessness Pt. 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Jeffrey Chapman’s trial begins next week. He’ll wear a turtleneck.

MUG_SHOT_MURDER_Jeffrey Wade ChapmanFor those unfamiliar with the young man’s plight, Jeffrey Wade Chapman is an accused murderer who doesn’t want to start his murder trial with the word “MURDER” tattooed across his neck. In April of this year, I mistakenly closed a previous Chapman entry, “A Billboard for Brainlessness,” with, “as far as most are concerned, that’s the end of his story.”

Turns out, not only does Chapman’s saga continue (the trial was postponed pending his court-ordered mental evaluation), I think I’ve figured out a way for his defense to turn that tattooed frown upside down!

Chapman’s attorney previously appealed to the court to allow a professional tattoo artist into the jail to obscure, alter, or remove the tattoo from his client’s throat, but he’d been turned down. So, between the prosecutor, the judge, and the sheriff running the jail, alternate ideas of a turtleneck and fake bandages had been proposed. The turtleneck won, which I find disappointing ’cause I really wanted to see the bandage idea in action. Imagine the distraction in the courtroom!Courtesy KSNW-TV Wichita

The sheer volume of gauze and medical tape required would make it tough to keep a straight face. How could the defendant – or anyone for that matter – manage to behave as if it wasn’t there? Watching someone otherwise unimpeded by the serious injury such a large bandage implies would be off the hook. I can just imagine Chapman, mid-proceedings, jabbing his fingers between fraying layers of gauze to get at an itch and expecting no one to notice he has no difficulty responding verbally to the judge’s questions – again despite his apparently sizable wound.

That’s not to say the turtleneck won’t be an elephant in the room on its own. But now I believe Chapman would be best served by leaving the tattoo exposed. In fact, it could be one of those crazy-daring defense maneuvers silly jurors love to be charmed by.

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A Billboard for Brainlessness

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

No, he won’t have to answer questions like “Whad they get you for?”

MUG_SHOT_MURDER_Jeffrey Wade ChapmanJeffrey Wade Chapman is about to stand trial for First Degree Murder  –but ooh–  doesn’t want to appear before a jury with “MURDER” tattooed like a billboard for brainlessness across his throat. So the pride of Great Bend, Kansas is appealing to the Barton County District Court for help.
 
Through his attorney, Defendant Chapman has asked that what has essentially become an albatross around his neck be either removed or obscured. Never mind that he lacked the foresight to have thought twice about getting the tattoo. And forget that he’s made himself a walking, talking jury instruction. (Guilty!) Chapman is as desperate as a house cat above a tub full of water. And he should be.
 
Maybe someday he’ll be able to figure out what the hell he was thinking when he mistakenly chose “MURDER” over “MONSTER COCK.”
 
He reminds me of a guy I met at Folsom Prison’s Level-4 “Old Yard,”  a guy who’d similarly chosen to market what he brought to the table.
 
They called this guy “Fresno”…because he had “FRESNO” tattooed across his forehead in big, old English lettering. Having eaten a few meals together, I eventually got up the courage to ask him why. Fresno just shrugged and kept eating. 
 
So I have a sneaking suspicion Chapman’s answer won’t be much different. (By the way, were I to go by Fresno’s and Chapman’s logic, my own face would read, “FARTER,” but that’s another post entirely.)

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