Death penalty sought for inmate charged with killing 2 Kan. LEOs

The inmate is charged with the deaths of deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King, who were killed while transporting him back to jail after a hearing


By Tony Rizzo
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wyandotte County, Kan., District Attorney Mark Dupree filed notice Friday that he will seek the death penalty for the man charged with killing two sheriff’s deputies last summer.

Dupree said that he would pursue the death penalty for Antoine Fielder Friday at what was supposed to be Fielder’s preliminary hearing in Wyandotte County District Court.

Deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer, who were killed while transporting inmate Antoine Fielder back to jail (Photo/ Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office/TNS)
Deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer, who were killed while transporting inmate Antoine Fielder back to jail (Photo/ Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office/TNS)

A mental competency examination was also ordered for Fielder. His attorneys requested the exam to determine if he is competent to stand.

“We believe this is a delay tactic,” Dupree told District Judge Bill Klapper Friday.

Dupree said that Fielder had previously been found to be competent. He called Fielder “a major safety concern” who is seeking to delay justice as long as he can.

Defense attorney Jeff Dazey said the defense “strenuously” objected to Dupree saying it was an attempt to delay.

Dazey said competency is a “fluid” concept that waxes and wanes. He said that the defense has had concerns about the psychological effects that being in solitary confinement has had on Fielder.

“We have great concerns about our client’s competency,” Dazey said.

Fielder, 30, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King.

Fielder was one of two prisoners that Rohrer, 35, and King, 44, were transporting back to jail on June 15 after hearings in the court building a block north of the county courthouse when Fielder allegedly disarmed one of them.

He was wounded in the incident.

In order to be competent, a criminal defendant must be able to understand court proceedings and be able to assist in his own defense.

Klapper ordered that Fielder be transported to the Larned State Hospital for the examination.

Court proceedings will be stayed until a report from Larned doctors is completed. Klapper scheduled a hearing for March 22 to update the status of the case.

The scheduled preliminary hearing would have been the first time that details of the incident were made public. An affidavit outlining the evidence has been sealed.

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©2019 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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