Kansas man charged with first-degree murder wants to cover up 'murder' tattoo before trial

Jeffrey Chapman is charged in the November 2011 killing of Damon Galliart.
By Evan Bleier  |  April 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM
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GREAT BEND, Kan., April 23 (UPI) -- A Kansas man who is about to go on trial for first-degree murder thinks that the “murder” tattoo he has on his neck might influence a jury, so he is hoping to have it covered up before he appears in court.

“Mr. [Jeffrey] Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail,” according to a motion filed by defense attorney Kurt Kerns. “Mr. Chapman’s tattoos are not relevant to any material facts and 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. 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.”

Even though Chapman has lined up a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover up the ink on his neck, Sheriff Brian Bellendir is standing in the way.

Bellendir pointed out that Kansas Administrative Code 69-15-14 states “tattoo artists shall not practice at any location other than a licensed facility” and is also against transporting Chapman to an official tattoo parlor, the Great Bend Tribune reported.

Chapman is charged in the November 2011 death of Damon Galliart. The trial is scheduled to begin on Monday and is expected to last two weeks.

The prosecution has not objected to Chapman attempting to cover the tattoo.

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