Rural Leavenworth man pleads not guilty of first-degree murder in death at his home


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LEAVENWORTH, Kansas — A rural Leavenworth man will stand trial for first-degree murder in the shooting death of another man in 2013.

A Leavenworth County District Court judge ruled Tuesday that there was enough evidence to try 49-year-old Jeffery Sifford for the death of 58-year-old Richard Luse, of rural Easton. After the ruling, Sifford pleaded not guilty.

Luse was found wounded in December 2013 in a travel trailer at a Sifford's home. Luse later died at a hospital.

The Leavenworth Times reports ( ) Sifford was originally charged with second-degree murder but the charge was amended in October.

Sifford's attorney, John Bryant, argued unsuccessfully Tuesday that there wasn't sufficient evidence to support the first-degree murder charge.

At the defense's request, the judge also ordered Sifford to undergo a mental evaluation before the trial.

Information from: Leavenworth (Kan.) Times,

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