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Kansas will seek death for Kahler, suspected in 4 killings

Monday, February 7, 2011 | 1:31 p.m. CST; updated 11:15 p.m. CST, Monday, February 7, 2011

LYNDON, Kan. — A former Columbia city official will face the death penalty if he's convicted of the Thanksgiving weekend 2009 shooting deaths of four family members.

Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty when James Kraig Kahler goes on trial in August in the deaths of his estranged wife, two daughters and his wife's grandmother in Burlingame, Kan.

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The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that during Kahler's arraignment on Monday, assistant attorney general Amy Hanley said the crime deserves a death penalty because the crimes were especially heinous and involved more than one victim.

Kahler's trial is scheduled to start Aug. 8.

Kahler was director of the Water and Light Department in Columbia until shortly before the shootings.


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