Crime

Attorneys push to get Pasco murder case dismissed

PASCO — Defense attorneys for a Pasco man accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend are trying again to get his case dismissed.

A Franklin County Superior Court judge last month denied a motion to drop murder charges against Kurtis Robert Chapman because Pasco detectives listened to a recorded jail conversation between Chapman and his attorney, Matt Rutt.

Judge Craig Matheson ruled that detectives listened to the conversation in good faith as part of an investigation, but also said those who heard the conversation would be excluded from testifying at trial.

Rutt claimed his client's constitutional rights were violated because defense strategies were discussed in the call.

Detective William Parramore made a copy of the jail conversation and called then-Prosecutor Steve Lowe to tell him about the recording.

Lowe told him not to disclose what was heard and to destroy the recording immediately.

This week, Rutt and Bob Thompson, who apparently now is co-counsel on the case, filed a motion asking Matheson to dismiss the case because the recording was destroyed.

Parramore listened to the jail's recorded phone calls after Corrections Officer Scott Cram reported hearing Chapman talk about deleting information from his phone for a possible accomplice.

But defense attorneys said a review of evidence shows Cram "never heard any information about destruction of evidence as claimed," Thompson wrote in the motion, which is to be argued today.

Thompson said destroying the tape prejudices Chapman's right to a fair trial.

He also said that if the tape hadn't been destroyed, it would have revealed Cram didn't overhear a conversation about destruction of evidence.

Chapman, 22, is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for allegedly strangling Shenay Greenough, 19, of West Richland in May and killing her almost full-term daughter, Kyana Shenay.

-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com

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