Jackson County Commission to discuss $80,000 special prosecutor refund efforts at meeting Tuesday

Local News

HOLTON (KSNT) – The Jackson County Commission is expected to discuss efforts to get a reimbursement for $80,000 paid to Special Prosecutor Jacque Spradling in 2017. Spradling was hired to handle multiple rape cases against Jacob Ewing.

Ewing was sentenced to over 27 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of two counts of rape and other charges in 2017. Those convictions were later overturned by the Kansas Court of Appeals in 2019.

In a letter to Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller on Wednesday, the county commission strongly urged her to “pursue any and all reimbursement the county might obtain for the fees paid to Special Prosecutor Spradling during the Ewing matter.”

Jackson County Commissioner Dan Brenner said this refund effort is not connected to the outcome of the Ewing case.

“I want to first make it clear, the outcome of the trial we have nothing to do with that and we’re not questioning that at all,” Brenner said. “What we think may have happened was there was a breach of the contract and we want to make sure if that’s the case then we believe the citizens of Jackson County deserve their money back.”

Ultimately, Ewing entered “guilty” on May 7, 2021, in the form of Alford pleas to reduced charges on the two cases he was previously convicted of rape. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to the crime but agrees that the evidence will likely result in a guilty verdict in trial.

Lisa Hyten, a Victim Service Coordinator with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, told KSNT News she has scheduled a time to talk with the commissioners during their meeting Tuesday morning. She said one of the victim’s family asked her to “clarify some information about the commissioner’s plans and motives.”

The Jackson County Commission will meet from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Courthouse at 400 New York Avenue in Holton.

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