Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, March 22

Murder trial delayed

The trial of triple murder suspect Frank Anderson was postponed three weeks to determine if his codefendant, currently on death row, would testify at Anderson's trial.

Anderson's attorney, Thomas Kehm, asked Superior Court Judge James Chavez for the continuance to see if Bobby Poyson, sentenced to death for his part in the slaying of three Golden Valley residents, would act as a witness.

Anderson, 52, Poyson, 24, and Kimberly Lane, 19, were convicted separately of murdering Leta Kagen, her 15-year-old son, Robert Delahunt and Roland Wear at the Kagen residence on Yavapai Drive on Aug.

12, 1996.

Delayed several times, Anderson's second trial for the murders will begin Oct.

1 in Mohave County Superior Court.

The trial had been set for Sept.

5.

In Anderson first trial, a Mohave County jury found him guilty in January 1998 for three counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy of murder.

The Arizona Supreme Court struck down Anderson's death sentence.

The court ruled 4-1 to overturn the sentence because of an error in qualifying jurors during his 1998 trial.

In his new trial, Anderson faces the same charges; three counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy of murder.

In Friday's hearing, Kehm also asked but was denied a motion for the jury to be involved in determining any aggravating factors after the verdict.

By Arizona law, only the judge rules on aggravating factors when passing sentence.

Lane, who pleaded guilty in April to attempted murder and sentenced to eight years in prison, was brought back to Mohave County Monday under orders from Chavez.

Chavez ordered Lane, currently incarcerated at the state Department of Corrections for women, to comply with a deposition held Friday at Kehm's request to see if she would be used as a witness.

Kehm was unavailable for comment.

Chief Deputy County Attorney Jace Zack said he is undecided whether to call her as a witness.

"I'm not expecting to see her as a witness," Lane's attorney, Eric Engan said Friday.

"It's unlikely but not impossible."

Engan said during the deposition as she did at her first trial, Lane recounted her history with Anderson, how she met Anderson in Lancaster, Calif., how they came to Kingman and Golden Valley and what had happened the night of the murders.

"She indicted that bad things happened to the victims," Engan said.

Lane was convicted and sentenced to 32 years in prison in June 1999.

Prosecutors were unable to seek the death penalty against Lane since she was 14 at the time of the murders.

The Arizona Court of Appeals overturned her conviction and the state Supreme Court upheld the decision.

Her case was overturned when her confession was tossed out because of her age and her mental capacity.

Lane had already served about four years after being convicted in her first murder trial.

Prior to her second trial, she pleaded guilty to lesser charges and should be released in about three years.

Poyson was sentenced to death in November 1999.

The U.S.

Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence.

Anderson, Poyson and Lane allegedly planned to kill their victims to steal Wear's truck.

The trio then fled to Illinois where they were arrested about a week after the killings.

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