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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Cazares appeal denied

  • Manuel Cazares is sitting behind bars at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.
    He's sentenced to live there the rest of his life plus an additional 25 years after being found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon in the deaths of Amanda Thomas and Patrick Eppley.
    And the higher state court isn't going to change that.
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  • Manuel Cazares is sitting behind bars at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.
    He's sentenced to live there the rest of his life plus an additional 25 years after being found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon in the deaths of Amanda Thomas and Patrick Eppley.
    And the higher state court isn't going to change that.
    An appeal filed by Cazares following his trial was affirmed by the Missouri Eastern Appellate Court in December and is now officially closed.
    Cazares' appeal was based mostly on two incidents presented at trial; the crime scene and autopsy photos presented to the jury, and the demonstration Cazares gave showing the jury how he stabbed Thomas and Eppley to death. Court records claim Cazares was deprived of due process and a fair and impartial trial.
    The records also indicated the court "abused discretion in overruling Cazares' objection and allowing the state to require him to demonstrate for the jury how he stabbed the victims." And that Marion County Prosecutor Tom Redington "withheld evidence (Cazares' cell phone records)" which defense attorneys claimed violated Brady v. Maryland which states due process clause requires the prosecutor disclose to defense any exculpatory evidence which comes to his or her attention.
    Appeal records also claimed Cazares' sixth and 14th amendment rights were violated, that he "suffered improper prejudices" and "... Todd Schulze (public defender) failed to function as the state's adversary ..."
    "The state had no logical relevance for the reenactment of the stabbing and the reenactment did not have any type of 'tendency to make the existence of a material fact more or less probable'," appeal records state. "The state presented no evidence as to their belief as to how the stabbings were committed by Cazares. Therefore, the circumstances of the reenactment or demonstration were wholly without merit and the state could not state with any degree of certainty that the reenactment or demonstration was in any way similar to what had occurred at Thomas' apartment..."
    Appeals Court judges affirmed the lower court ruling Nov. 27, 2012 and the case was closed three weeks later Dec. 19, 2012.

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