Trials & Litigation

Lawyer Under Fire for Using Dud Grenade in Closing

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Sheriff’s officers are investigating a Kansas attorney for criminal use of explosives after they learned he used a dead grenade as a prop during his closing statements at a trial Monday.

Lawyer Sam Kepfield pulled the dud grenade out to make a point in a forgery and theft case against a Hutchinson, Kan., woman.

The Hutchinson News reports that Kepfield set the grenade on a ledge in front of jurors, then moved it to the prosecutor’s table. He reportedly pulled the pin from the grenade and asked jurors, “Are you afraid now?”

“I was trying to demonstrate what’s called an imminent threat,” Kepfield told the paper.

There was no objection and the presiding judge simply asked that Kepfield remove the grenade from the table. Kepfield’s client was convicted following 15 minutes of jury deliberations, according to the Hutchinson News.

And while the jurors reportedly told the judge that the incident didn’t scare them, both the judge and local district attorney reported the matter to the Reno County sheriff.

District Attorney Keith Schroeder intends to also alert the Kansas attorney general’s office.

“Clearly, I’m concerned about the situation and the safety of my employees, and I’m concerned about the way the jury’s treated,” Schroeder said.

Last updated at 11:20 p.m. to add more detail.

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