Brothers’ death sentences for Wichita murders reviewed again

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two brothers who were sentenced to die in 2002 for four killings known as “the Wichita massacre” are back before the Kansas Supreme Court seeking to have their sentences commuted to life in prison.

The court heard arguments Monday from attorneys in the cases of Jonathan and Reginald Carr, The Wichita Eagle reports. Their attorneys continued to argue that their death sentences should be overturned because the two brothers had a joint hearing when jurors considered their punishments.

The Kansas court upheld their convictions in 2014 but overturned their death sentences, concluding that not having separate hearings violated the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision in 2016, returning the case to the Kansas court.

The brothers were sentenced to die over a home invasion in December 2000 that included robbery, rape, torture and the execution-style shootings of four victims. Other crimes over six days left a fifth person dead.

Each of the brothers accused the other of carrying out the crimes.

Reginald Carr contends he was the victim of mistaken identity and that Jonathan Carr committed the murders with someone else.

Jonathan Carr contends Reginal Carr was mainly responsible for the crimes and abused him along with other members of their family.