Apr 24, 2014

Jeffrey Chapman fears murder tattoo may sway jury

Jeffrey Chapman fears murder tattoo may sway jury. A KANSAS man charged with first-degree murder is afraid the tattooed mirror-image letters spelling out the word “murder” across his neck might prejudice a jury, so he is asking for a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover it up.

Prosecutors say they aren’t opposed to Jeffrey Chapman covering his tattoo, but Barton County’s sheriff says he’s against transporting Chapman to a licensed tattoo facility — the only places tattoo artists are allowed to practice under Kansas law.

The Great Bend Tribune reports Chapman’s trial is scheduled to start Monday in the November 2011 killing of Damon Galliart, whose body was found by hunters in a roadside ditch southwest of Great Bend.

Chalie O’Hara, Wichita defence attorney, said a tattoo doesn’t have say “murder” for it to cause a problem in the trial.

“Whenever you try a jury trial the appearance of the defendant makes a lot difference,” O’Hara said.

Chapman’s attorney says in a motion the tattoo would be extremely prejudicial if seen by a jury.