Man Guilty Of Killing Family

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LYNDON, Kan., Aug. 26 (UPI) — A man convicted of killing his wife, his two daughters and another relative could face the death penalty in Kansas.

A jury deliberated for 2 hours Thursday before finding James Kraig Kahler guilty of capital murder and four counts of first-degree murder, the Columbia Missourian reported. The penalty phase is scheduled to begin Monday.

Kahler, the former director of public utilities for Columbia, Mo., was in the middle of divorce when he committed the crime. His estranged wife, Karen, 44, and their three children were staying for Thanksgiving with her grandmother, Dorothy Wight, 89, in Burlingame, Kan.

Sean Kahler, the only family member to escape the house during the rampage, testified for the prosecution that he saw his father kill his mother, the Columbia Tribune reported. His sisters, Lauren, 16, and Emily, 18, were killed.

Kahler’s marriage broke up when his wife became involved with a woman. His father and brother testified that he was depressed, especially after he left his job with the Columbia Power and Water Department.

Both prosecution and defense expect to put on psychiatric testimony during the penalty phase, and Kahler’s parents may testify about his state of mind before the killings.

Kansas has eight people on death row but has not executed anyone since 1965.

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