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Hays lawyer will represent in death penalty retrial

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The two lawyers who represented a capital murder defendant during his appeal will defend the Topeka man when his case is retried.

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling that overturned Phillip D. Cheatham's 2005 murder convictions. He was found guilty of capital murder in the 2003 shooting deaths of two women and was sentenced to death in October 2005.

The high court cited ineffective assistance of counsel by Cheatham's defense attorney as the reason for overturning the convictions.

The Board of Indigent Defendant Services says it will fund Cheatham's defense, and also says the two attorneys who represented Cheatham in his appeal will represent him in his new trial. The lawyers are Paul Oller, Hays, and John Wachtel, Wichita.