The attorney for Justin Thurber has filed a second motion to reschedule a hearing that will determine if his client is intellectually disabled based on current Kansas law.
Court documents filed by the office of the Kansas Attorney General show a hearing to determine if Thurber is intellectually disabled had been set for Sept. 10-11, 2019, in Cowley County District Court, after previously being scheduled to begin June 4, 2019. A new date for the hearing has not been announced.
Thurber’s lawyer made a motion requesting the June 4 hearing be rescheduled, which the court agreed to do. The defense made the request because their investigation into Thurber discovered specific neurological and genetic impairments; because of case law developments concerning adaptive deficits; and the ongoing investigation into any adaptive deficits Thurber might have, according to court documents.
The request was submitted June 6 by Jeffrey Dazey, a public defender with the Death Penalty Defense Unit and Thurber’s attorney of record.
The Kansas Supreme Court remanded the case to Cowley County District Court in June 2018 after a hearing in October 2017 at which Thurber’s attorney argued that he is intellectually disabled according to current state law, and that his client’s death sentence should be changed to life in prison without parole.
Thurber was sentenced to death in March 2009 after a Cowley County jury found him guilty of the January 2007 murder of Jodi Sanderholm. Both Thurber and Sanderholm were from Arkansas City.
In November 2018, attorneys representing Thurber and the State of Kansas met in Cowley County District Court to discuss what evidence to admit when determining whether Thurber is intellectually disabled. At that time, a hearing was set to begin on June 4, 2019.