High court rejects six murder appeals

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Kevin James Lisle petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus arguing his trial counsel provided him constitutionally ineffective assistance by failing to object to statements by the prosecution vouching for witnesses who testified against Lisle.

Lisle was convicted of killing a man by shooting him from another vehicle while they were driving along a freeway. The high court ruled there is ample evidence to support the jury's finding and that the trial judge didn't err in his rulings on the evidence and testimony in the case.

The court denied the petition, effectively upholding Lisle's death sentence.

The Court also upheld the conviction of Lonnie Joseph Dennis on two counts of first-degree murder. He was convicted of breaking into the apartment of his estranged wife and killing both her and John Ludvigson.

He claimed the conviction should be thrown out because one of the witnesses called as an expert wasn't expressly declared to be an expert witness. He argued the evidence in the case was insufficient to support his conviction. The high court disagreed on all counts and upheld his conviction.

Darris Tremel Taylor's appeal also was rejected. He argued his conviction was based on circumstantial evidence and insufficient to support a conviction. And he argued that a number of pieces of evidence including the bullet found in his ceiling should have been kept out of the trial because they weren't related to the killing and were admitted only to show Taylor's violent nature.

The high court rejected all those claims and upheld the conviction.

Likewise, the court rejected arguments that there was insufficient evidence to convict Richard Barrientos of murder and attempted murder. The court said a reasonable jury could have been convinced of Barrientos's guilt.

Finally, the court upheld the conviction of Linda Kay Carbary on charges she murdered her husband. The court rejected arguments that the jury instructions were so flawed she should have another trial. The court said the trial judge had the right to exclude evidence of her husband's membership in a survivalist group, which she said was relevant to her self-defense theory.


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