A Kansas man facing first-degree murder charges is concerned that his neck tattoo saying ‘Murder’ might influence the jury’s verdict. Ya think?
Officials say that Jeffery Chapman has requested a professional tattoo artist to cover up his neck tat ahead of his upcoming trial. While prosecutors say they are fine with Chapman covering his tattoo, the Sheriff’s Office has refused to transport Chapman to a tattoo facility. Under Kansas law, tattoo artists are only allowed to practice in licensed facilities.
According to a motion submitted by Chapman’s attorney, “Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail. 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 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.”
Prosecutors say he could cover the tattoo with clothing but his attorney says the tattoo is too large.
Charlie O’Hara, who is representing Chapman, says “Whenever you try a jury trial, the appearance of the defendant makes a lot of difference.”
Chapman is charged in the shooting death of 25-year-old Damon Galyardt back in November of 2011. According to reports, Chapman got in an altercation with Galyardt over the way he was treating Chapman’s female friend and shot him. Hunters found Galyardt’s body in a ditch the next day.