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Jury Convicts Joe Hunter in Pro Se Jury Trial

Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 3:21pm

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announced today that a jury convicted Joe Hunter, 53, of one count of Theft.

On January 18, 2018, Lawrence Police Department was dispatched to Hurst Diamonds, 520 W 23rd Street, Lawrence.   The manager of the business reported that a black male, later identified as Hunter, took a loose diamond and a gem stone valued at $1,696.00 from a display case inside the store.

At trial the State presented surveillance video which captured Hunter reaching into a display case and removing the merchandise. 

Mr. Hunter exercised his right to represent himself and was appointed Julia Butler as stand-by counsel. 

Hunter’s jury trial began at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2018 with jury selection and concluded the same day.  Three witnesses were presented by the State.  Hunter took the stand to testify on his own behalf.  The verdict was returned at 4:00 p.m.

Hunter faces 12 months in the Douglas County Jail.  Sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2018.

Senior Judge Gunnar Sundby presided over the case.  The case investigated by the Lawrence Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Debby Moody.

*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor




Media Contact

Cheryl Kunard - Assistant to the District Attorney