CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An attorney for a convicted Charleston man told the state Supreme Court Wednesday his client should get a new trial in part because of misconduct by a Kanawha County assistant prosecutor.
Kenneth Carter, 51, was convicted last year for the 2011 baseball bat beating death of Ron Forton in a Beuhring Ave. apartment. He’s serving a life in prison term with no chance for parole. His attorney, Charles Hamilton, told the High Court the prosecutor in the case stepped over the line several times during the May 2012 trial.
Hamilton said the prosecutor kept interrupting during Carter’s trial testimony.
“There were 33 objections to his (Carter’s) direct examination. Thirty-three! It’s hard to count them all but the whole purpose of that it seems is to divert attention to extraneous matters,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton also argued against the credibility of the eyewitness account of Brady Dunlap, the second victim in the beating. Carter maintains he was asleep when the attack occurred and it may have been a fight between Dunlap and Forton.
The state told the High Court Wednesday the conviction should stand. An assistant attorney general argued the jury decided Dunlap’s testimony was credible and he also reminded the Court of testimony from a jail inmate who had talked with Carter about Forton’s death.
Carter’s first trial in March 2012 ended in a hung jury. He was convicted two months later in a second trial.
The Supreme Court will hand down a written opinion later this year.