Con­vic­tion in slay­ings is af­firmed

The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - LOCAL | - By MARK MOR­RIS

The con­vic­tion of a man in the bru­tal dou­ble-murder of an el­derly cou­ple in their Ray­town Bi­ble store will stand, the Mis­souri Supreme Court ruled Tues­day.

In a unan­i­mous opin­ion, the state’s high­est court re­versed a lower court rul­ing that had or­dered a new trial for Kellen C. McKin­ney, who was con­victed of killing Mil­dred and John Cay­lor in Oc­to­ber 2004.

“We’re glad this is a chap­ter we can end,” said Rick Cay­lor, the cou­ple’s son. “We can now re­flect all the pos­i­tive things that Mom and Dad stood for.”

The cou­ple’s murder dur­ing a botched rob­bery shocked Ray­town, where the Cay­lors had owned the store for 43 years.

In 2009, an ap­peals court found that McKin­ney should not have been tried for at­tempted es­cape from jail at the same time he was tried for murder and armed crim­i­nal ac­tion.

Dur­ing his ap­peals McKin­ney had ar­gued that the trial judge had im­prop­erly in­cluded the at­tempted es­cape charge in the murder trial. The at­tempted es­cape, McKin­ney con­tended, oc­curred nine weeks af­ter the killings and at a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion.

But in its rul­ing Wed­nes­day the state Supreme Court found that the at­tempted es­cape charge was re­lated closely enough to the other counts to have been tried at the same time.

Jack­son County Pros­e­cu­tor Jim Kanatzar said the court made the right de­ci­sion.

“I’m ex­tremely pleased with this rul­ing not just for this case, but for fu­ture cases as well,” Kanatzar said.

McKin­ney was sen­tenced to four life terms.

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