A Kansas man accused of first-degree murder is seeking permission to have a tattoo with the word "Murder" removed from his neck, out of fear the tattoo would negatively influence a jury during trial.
Jeffrey Wade Chapman is scheduled to stand trial Monday in the November 2011 killing of Damon Galliart, whose body was found by hunters in a roadside ditch southwest of Great Bend, Kan., the Great Bend Tribune reported.
A motion filed by Mr. Chapman's defense attorney Kurt Kern has asked to allow a professional tattoo artist to remove or cover up the tattoo across Mr. Chapman's neck.
"Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail," the motion states, as reported by The Tribune. "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."
Prosecutors said they were not opposed to Mr. Chapman removing the tattoo, but Barton County police said they would not transport the suspect to a licensed tattoo shop for the removal process.
Since tattoo artists are only permitted by law to practice in licensed facilities, an artist would not be able to visit Mr. Chapman in jail.
State prosecutors said the state "does not oppose the defendant from covering his tattoo using clothing, bandage or other means compliant with jail policy," the newspaper reported.
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