KENT E. GIPSON, LLC

121 East Gregory Blvd.

Kansas City, MO 64114

telephone number 816-363-4400

fax number 816-363-4300

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Client cases:

REGINALD GRIFFIN

Reginald Griffin was serving a 20 year sentence at Moberly prison when he was charged, convicted, and sentenced to death in the 1983 stabbing death of another prisoner. He was convicted solely upon the testimony of two other inmate informants who supposedly witnessed the stabbing. Although his sentence of death was overturned, Mr. Griffin remained incarcerated serving a life sentence.

Mr. Gipson began working on the case in 2004. Mr. Gipson litigated a state habeas corpus action based upon the recantation of one of the eyewitnesses and the fact that the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence that another inmate, similar in appearance to Mr. Griffin, was caught with a knife by a prison guard shortly after the stabbing occurred.

In 2011, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned Mr. Griffin’s conviction in State ex. rel Griffin v. Denney, 347 S.W.3d 73 (Mo. banc 2011). The prosecution subsequently dismissed the charges in 2013 and Mr. Griffin was released from custody and returned to his family in the Kansas City area.

GARY ENGEL

Gary Engel, an ex-Chicago police officer was wrongly accused and convicted of kidnapping in the Circuit Court of Clay County in 1989. I undertook representation of Mr. Engel in 2005 and litigated a state habeas petition pursuant to Rule 91 through the Circuit, Appellate, and the Missouri Supreme Court level. The litigation culminated with the Supreme Court's decision in State ex rel. Engel v. Dormire, 304 S.W.3d 120 (Mo. banc 2010). After the Clay County Prosecutor declined to retry Mr. Engel, he was released from prison in April of 2010 and returned to his home and family in Chicago.


STEVEN MANNING

Mr. Manning was Mr. Engel's co-defendant in the Clay County kidnapping case. I was appointed to represent Mr. Manning in 1997 on his federal habeas corpus appeal. This litigation culminated in an opinion from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ordering a new trial because Manning's Sixth Amendment rights were violated. Manning v. Bowersox, 310 F.3d 571 (8th Cir. 2002). Clay County prosecutors, as they did with Mr. Engel, declined to retry Mr. Manning and he was released from prison in 2004. Mr. Manning thereafter filed a 1983 action against the law enforcement agents who fabricated a case against him and obtained a verdict of over $6 million dollars in damages.


HOWARD VERWEIRE

Mr. Verweire was serving a 10-year sentence in the Missouri State Penitentiary in Cameron when he contacted me in 2003 to review his case. Mr. Verweire was advised by his attorney to plead guilty to an assault offense which he clearly did not commit. I proceeded to litigate a Rule 91 state habeas petition on his behalf through the Circuit Court, Court of Appeals, and the Missouri Supreme Court, which culminated in a decision releasing Mr. Verweire because he was actually innocent of that offense and there was no factual basis for his plea of guilty. State ex rel. Verweire v. Moore, 211 S.W.3d 89 (Mo. banc 2006). After this decision, Mr. Verweire was immediately released from custody and returned to his family and business in the Branson, Missouri area.

ROBERTA CARMONS

Roberta Carmons was a 73 year old great-grandmother from Kansas City when she was arrested and falsely accused of endangering the welfare of her great-grandson who was in her custody. The allegations arose in the context of the undisputed fact that her son, who was an over-the-road truck driver, molested her great-grandson while visiting her home. However, there was no dispute that she was never present when any of these incidents occurred. When the allegation surfaced, she chose to believe her son rather than her great-grandson.

Although these facts probably did not make a submissible case for a crime, the prosecutors nevertheless charged her with a Class D felony for failing to take appropriate steps to prevent her son from abusing her great-grandson. Unfortunately for Mrs. Carmons, she hired an attorney who specialized in real estate law, who advised her to plead guilty to the charge without the benefit of a plea bargain. This attorney obviously believed that the judge would give her probation. To everyone’s surprise, the judge sentenced Mrs. Carmons to three years in prison.

Mr. Gipson became involved in the case to pursue a motion for post-conviction relief challenging Mrs. Carmons’ conviction. After investigating the case fully, Mr. Gipson advanced compelling claims that Mrs. Carmons received ineffective assistance of counsel and that there was no factual basis for her plea of guilty to the charged crime. The litigation culminated with an opinion from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, which held that no factual basis for the plea existed. Carmons v. State, 26 S.W.3d 382 (W.D. Mo. 2000). As a result, the Court of Appeals ordered that Mrs. Carmons’ conviction be overturned. Mrs. Carmons’ felony conviction was erased from her record and she resumed her long time work as an election judge and will live out the remainder of her days in peace.

HENRY DANIELS

Henry Daniels was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison by the Circuit Court of Jackson County for charges arising from the death of his girlfriend, Linda Smith.  The evidence against Henry was totally circumstantial.  Mr. Gipson represented Mr. Daniels on his direct appeal and successfully challenged the use of questionable scientific evidence by the state to convict him.  In 2005, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed Henry’s conviction and ordered a new trial based upon the prosecution’s use of junk science involving luminal testing to secure his conviction.  State v. Daniels, 179 S.W.3d 273 (Mo. App. W.D. 2005).  On retrial, with this evidence properly excluded, a Jackson County jury acquitted Henry and he was immediately released from custody.

MICHAEL GENNETTEN

Mike Gennetten was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to thirty years imprisonment after being convicted of second degree murder involving the death of the infant child of his live-in girlfriend.  During Rule 29.15 proceedings, compelling evidence emerged that Mike’s trial lawyer was grossly incompetent because he failed to call several doctors who would have testified that the nature of the child’s injuries were entirely consistent with the accidental cause of the victim’s death described by Mike during his trial testimony.  After extensive evidentiary hearings, the litigation in the case culminated with a decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District granting Mike a new trial in 2003.  State v. Gennetten, 96 S.W.3d 143 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003).  Rather than take the risk of retrial, Mike accepted an Alford Plea and a reduced sentence of fourteen years.  Mike was freed from prison and has continued his active outdoor life near the Lake of the Ozarks.

JEFFREY GARDNER

Jeff Gardner was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment before the Circuit Court of Cass County, despite evidence that he shot the deceased in lawful self-defense.  Mr. Gipson represented Mr. Gardner both on his direct appeal and in his Rule 29.15 proceeding.  In 2003, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District found that Jeff’s trial counsel was ineffective and ordered a new trial.  Gardner v. State, 96 F.3d 120 (Mo. App. W.D. 2003).  Rather than risk a second trial, Jeff, with the assistance of Mr. Gipson, plea-bargained with the state for a seven year sentence on the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter.  As a result of this plea-bargain, Jeff was immediately released from prison and was able to resume his life and career as a truck driver.