Kansas v. Artis T. Cobb (2002 WL 537665)

Kansas v. Artis T. Cobb (2002 WL 537665)

In 1994, Kasey M. Blount, 19, and her 11-month-old daughter, Alannah were found dead in their two story Junction City, KS apartment by her husband, Jade Blount. Kasey had been raped and strangled, and a sock was found lodged in her throat. Alannah had died in her crib of apparent neglect resulting from the absence of care subsequent to her mother's death.

Artis T. Cobb was arrested for the crime in 1999, and orgiginally charged with two counts of first degree murder for the rape homicide of Kasey Blount and the subsequent neglect related death of Alannah Blount. These charges were later dropped and replaced with voluntary manslaughter charges.

Brent E. Turvey, MS was retained by the defense in this case to reconstruct the crime, and compare findings to the statements made by Artis Cobb during his interviews with authorities. Turvey qualified in court as an expert in crime reconstruction and forensic science, as well as victimology. He was allowed to give expert opinions on several matters, however the court would not allow his testimony regarding inconsistencies between the statements of Artis Cobb and the crime scene evidence. (His report is provided below, the findings having largely been made public in the April 12th, 2002 decision provided below. That decision concedes that "Every one of these findings ha[s] already been in evidence through other witnesses".)

Parodoxically, the state's expert was allowed to testify regarding consistencies between the statements of Artis Cobb and the crime scene evidence. Specifically, she testified that it was possible for a sexual assault to leave no evidence of the perpetrator's bodily fluids. So the absence of semen evidence did not rule out a sexual assault of Kasey Blount by Mr. Cobb [note: it doesn't exactly rule it in, either].

However, the April 12th, 2002 decision provided below says it best:

Physical evidence at the crime scene included semen from Keith Jones, semen from Javis Devore, and a fingerprint from James Battle. All three men admitted to having sex with Kasey in her apartment during her husband's absence. Jones eventually directed the attention of authorities to "Scoop," whom he later identified as Cobb. No physical evidence ever tied Cobb to the crime scene.

So, not only was there an absence of physical evidence associating Mr. Cobb with the crime, there was semen DNA evidence of from other individuals present at the scene and in the victim.

Mr. Cobb was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in both cases, in April of 2000. The case is still under appeal.

Media Reports:

Expert Testimony:

Brent E. Turvey, MS

Court Rulings: