Murder Tattoo Sends Jury Wrong Message, Thinks Suspected Killer

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 09:29 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A suspected killer in Kansas who has the word "Murder" tattooed across his neck in capital letters is petitioning the state to have his body art removed before his trial kicks off next week. He thinks it may send the wrong message to the jury.

Jeffrey Wade Chapman, who prosecutors say is responsible for the 2011 shooting death of Damon Galyardt, filed a motion in court this week to have the state bring in a tattoo artist to remove or obscure his neck piece before his trial starts on Monday.

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"Mr. Chapman’s tattoos are not relevant to any material facts and Mr. Chapman asks for the court to exclude any mention of his tattoos at trial and further to be allowed to cover them up in an appropriate manner," the motion, obtained by the Great Bend Tribune, reads. "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."

Prosecutors, though, aren’t buying it. In a response to Chapman's request, the state said he is welcome to cover up the "Murder" tattoo with "clothing, [a] bandage, or other means compliant with jail policy."

Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir also denied Chapman's request and cited Kansas Administrative Code 69-15-14, which states that tattoo artists can only practice in licensed facilities. The jail is not a licensed facility and the state has refused to transport Chapman to one, the Tribune noted.

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