Man charged with murder wants 'MURDER' tattoo removed from neck before trial

Jeffrey Wade-Chapman believes that the tattoo could prejudice the jury

Jack Simpson
Thursday 24 April 2014 12:17

A defendant with the word “MURDER” tattooed on his neck wants it to be removed because he fears it will prejudice his murder trial.

The Great Bend Tribute reported, Jeffrey Wade-Chapman, who has been charged with the first-degree murder of Damon Galyardt, says the tattoo, which is appears as a mirror image on his neck, might influence the jury's final judgment.

Prosecutors say that Chapman can cover up the tattoo with something compliant with trial policy.

However, Chapman’s lawyers say the tattoo is too big to be covered with clothing and have asked Kansas State Jail, where Chapman is currently placed, to allow a professional tattoo artist to remove the tattoo before he appears in Barton County District Court next week.

Under Kansas law, tattoo artists are only allowed to carry out ink work in licenced facilities, ruling out any work being done on the prison premises.

Barton County Police have already stated that they would not be willing to transport Chapman to a licenced studio.

“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," said Kurt Kerns, Chapman's defence attorney.

“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."

It is not the only tattoo on Chapman. Inked beneath his right eye is a black teardrop.

It has not been revealed the background of Chapman’s tattoos or why he decided to get them done in the first place.

Chapman has been charged with the shooting of Damon Galyardt who was found dead in a roadside ditch in November 2011.

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