Phillip Cheatham pleads ‘no contest’ to Capital Murder in 2003 Topeka shootings

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Shawnee County District Attorney announced Friday that a man initially convicted of killing two women and trying to kill a third has entered a “no contest” plea in a retrial that was about to get underway.

King Phillip Amman Reu-El, originally charged under the name of Phillip Cheatham, entered his plea Friday afternoon as jurors were being selected for the retrial.

He was originally convicted in 2005 for the crimes, but the conviction was overturned by the Kansas Supreme Court which ordered a retrial.

Friday, Cheatham pled “no contest” and was convicted on one count of Capital Murder and one count of Attempted Murder for the shooting which occurred December 13, 2003 at 2718 SE Colorado in Topeka.

Under terms of the plea, the death penalty was removed so Cheatham faces a life term in the capital murder charge with parole eligibility after 25 years. The sentence for the other charge would run concurrently with the Capital Murder charge.

He was to be retried for the murders of 38 year old Annette Roberson and 42-year old Gloria Jones and the attempted murder of Annetta Thomas.

Sentencing has been set for March 20th.

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