U.S. Supreme Court lets stand Kleypas conviction, death sentence


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Monday the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the case of Gary Kleypas who was sentenced to death in 1997 for the murder of a Pittsburg State University Student.

Schmidt said the high court’s denial means Kleypas’ conviction and death sentence, which previously were affirmed by the Kansas Supreme Court, will stand on direct appeal. The case will next be returned to the Kansas courts for further proceedings under the Kansas death penalty statute. Although the U.S. Supreme Court’s action marks the end of Kleypas’ direct appeals, under both Kansas and federal law Kleypas has remaining options to seek further judicial review through collateral proceedings.

Kleypas’ was convicted in Crawford County District Court of capital murder in 1997 and handed a death sentence in 1998. The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Kleypas’ conviction, but overturned his death sentence in 2001 and ordered a new sentencing hearing. In 2008, a second jury recommended a death sentence in the case. The Kansas Supreme Court upheld that death sentence in October 2016.

This is the second death penalty case to exhaust direct appeals since the Kansas Legislature reinstated the death penalty in 1994. The first was State v. John Robinson in October 2016.

Kleypas is one of 10 people under sentence of death in Kansas.

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