Attorneys have tipped their hand in how they plan to defend Kurtis Chapman.
At the tail end of a rather dry, nuts and bolts pre-trial hearing, Matt Rutt told the judge co-counsel Bob Thompson is lining up as a witness an expert on diminished mental capacity.
Rutt indicated Chapman will blame his drug use for killing his former girlfriend.
Pasco police arrested Chapman a year ago last month after officers discovered the strangled body of Shenay Greenough in a crawl space beneath the front porch where Chapman lived. The coroner determined Greenough, 19, was seven months pregnant. Chapman was not the father.
Case Nearly Dismissed
The case has been delayed several times over the past year, and all charges nearly thrown out when public defender Rutt claimed police had violated Chapman’s constitutional rights. In the hours after his arrest, the lead detective listened in on a jailhouse telephone conversation between Rutt and Chapman, in which Rutt says they discussed privileged client attorney information. The detective then played a burned CD of the conversation to other officers working on the case. When then prosecutor Steve Lowe got wind of the eavesdropping, he immediately ordered the CD destroyed.
The Benton County prosecutor took over the case and the judge has barred the detective and any police officer who heard the CD from testifying at the trial.
Chapman, 23, is scheduled to go on trial late next month for second degree murder, and manslaughter for the death of Greenough’s unborn child.