The Kansas Supreme Court today upheld the conviction of former SM East custodian John Henry Horton for the murder of Lizabeth Wilson, a crime that occurred 40 years ago this summer.
Horton originally been found guilty in a 2004 trial, more than 29 years after Wilson’s murder. Wilson was abducted on her way home from the Prairie Village municipal swimming pool. In 2007 the Kansas Supreme Court said testimony that should not have been admissible was allowed during the trial and reversed the decision.
Horton was tried again and found guilty the second time in February 2008. Horton filed an appeal in that case and early this year the court heard oral arguments in that appeal. Horton’s attorney asked the court to reverse the conviction.
In a ruling handed down today, the court found that there was no reversible error and allowed the conviction to stand. The court did find issues with a jury instruction, but said the “record simply does not support a reversal on this issue.”
Horton was arrested in 2003 after Prairie Village detectives re-opened the cold case from 1974. Horton is serving a life sentence.