Judge won’t overturn convictions in Kansas murder case

Dec 21, 2022, 12:27 AM | Updated: 3:01 pm

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge on Wednesday declined to order a new trial for two men who claimed a disgraced police detective helped convict them for a 1997 murder they did not commit.

Brian Betts, 46, and Celester McKinney, 52, alleged that former Kansas City, Kansas, detective Roger Golubski and another detective coerced their uncle into identifying them as the shooters in the death of 17-year-old Gregory Miller.

Judge Gunnar Sundby ruled the men did not prove their case, despite a “cloud of doubt” over Golubski, The Kansas City Star reported.

Golubski was indicted in September on federal charges that accuse him of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman and a teenager from 1998 to 2002. He also faces a separate federal indictment alleging he was part of a sex trafficking ring involving girls between 1996 and 1998.

The FBI has been investigating allegations that Golubski, who is white, sexually assaulted Black women for decades in Kansas City, Kansas, and exchanged drugs for information during criminal investigations.

Golubski, who is under house arrest, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

During a hearing in October, Carter Betts said Golubski and another detective, identified as W.K. Smith, said Betts and his family would suffer if he didn’t testify against his nephews. Betts originally didn’t remember Golubski’s name, but identified him in a photo, noting the detective’s distinctive mustache.

Betts and McKinney, who are Black, both testified that they were at their homes sleeping when Miller was killed and they had no motive to kill the teenager.

Golubski testified at the hearing that he never pressured witnesses into false testimony and did not help investigate Miller’s murder. He also said he had no connection to Miller’s family, although he had been married to Miller’s aunt.

Sundby, who is retired but heard the case as a senior judge, said he wasn’t convinced by Betts’ testimony. He noted Betts testified several times about his interactions with Kansas City, Kansas, police, including times when he did not allege coercion or claimed it was Smith who pressured him.

“It would be easy, under this new cloud of doubt cast about Mr. Golubski, to use that as leverage to secure relief from conviction,” Sundby said. “I do not find his testimony to be credible.”

Brian Betts’ mother, Ellen Betts, said the family plans to appeal Sundby’s decision.

Miller’s family believes Betts and McKinney are guilty. They created a petition urging officials to keep them in prison, saying they were “trying to use the situation” with Golubski to be freed.

The allegations in Betts’ and McKinney’s case came to light when another Kansas City, Kansas, man, Lamonte McIntyre, was freed after serving 23 years in prison for a double murder he did not commit. McIntyre alleged Golubski framed him because his mother rejected the detective’s sexual advances.

The local government settled the lawsuit for $12.5 million.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
9 hours ago
Nathan Chasing Horse stands in court. Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. Nathan Chasing...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor charged in 2018 rape in PNW

Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former "Dances With Wolves" actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Trump ex-lawyer Cohen meets again with New York prosecutors

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen said he was meeting yet again Wednesday with New York City prosecutors who have spent years examining the former president’s financial dealings. Cohen stopped briefly to talk with reporters as he entered the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He said it was the 15th time he […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Bus crashes into Canadian day care; at least 8 hurt

LAVAL, Quebec (AP) — A city bus crashed into a day care north of Montreal on Wednesday, sending eight people to the hospital, emergency officials said. It was unclear how many of the injured may have been children. Police set up a large perimeter around the day care in Laval, Quebec, as distraught parents arrived […]
1 day ago
FILE - A poster featuring Bishop Rolando Alvarez and Pope Francis hangs inside the Cathedral in Mat...
Associated Press

EU bishops demand release of clergy detained in Nicaragua

ROME (AP) — European bishops on Wednesday demanded the immediate release of Nicaraguan clergy detained in the government’s crackdown on the Catholic Church, saying they have been falsely accused and are being subjected to unjust persecution. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Union, said European bishops would […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Gun, high-capacity magazine found inside Connecticut school

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut teenager was jailed on numerous charges Wednesday after a fight in school led to the discovery of a gun and a high-capacity magazine hidden in a classroom closet. The 18-year-old student was first charged with assault and disorderly conduct on Tuesday after an altercation with a 16-year-old at the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Judge won’t overturn convictions in Kansas murder case