Convicted child murderer, his attorney charged in Jackson County - KCTV5

Convicted child murderer, his attorney charged in Jackson County Jail contraband investigation

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Ce-Antonyo D. Kennedy, 19, faces a felony count of possessing a phone charger, a cord that could be used to strangle another inmate or jail personnel, and two misdemeanor counts of delivering or concealing prohibited articles on jail premises. (KCPD) Ce-Antonyo D. Kennedy, 19, faces a felony count of possessing a phone charger, a cord that could be used to strangle another inmate or jail personnel, and two misdemeanor counts of delivering or concealing prohibited articles on jail premises. (KCPD)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A convicted child murderer and his attorney have been criminally charged in a Jackson County Detention Center contraband investigation.

Ce-Antonyo D. Kennedy, 19, faces a felony count of possessing a phone charger, a cord that could be used to strangle another inmate or jail personnel, and two misdemeanor counts of delivering or concealing prohibited articles on jail premises.

Public defender Julianne Leigh Colby, 39, faces one misdemeanor count of delivering or concealing prohibited articles on jail premises.

According to court records filed late Thursday, Kennedy knowingly possessed a personal cell phone that is prohibited in the Jackson County Detention Center between Feb. 2 and Feb. 20, as well as later in April.

Court records state he also in April possessed a cell phone charger. A search of the cell phone revealed text messages from and to the illegal, contraband cell phone in Kennedy's possession. Some of these texts came from or went to Colby, a member of his defense team in his murder case.

Thirty-three times between Jan. 6 and April 10, Colby visited Kennedy at the jail.

The U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI reviewed these messaged to redact any privileged information. In addition, jail staff had observed troubling behavior between the two defendants. Colby was sending text messages to the defendant while he was incarcerated on a phone she reasonably had to know was contraband.

In April, Kennedy was convicted by a Jackson County jury of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the fatal shooting in 2015 of 14-year-old eighth-grader Alexis Kane at the Bay Water Park in south Kansas City.

"Cell phones used and provided illegally inside this jail pose a serious public safety risk. An investigation of cell phones and other contraband in the jail is ongoing," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. "No one, no matter their position or title will be permitted to exploit the operational deficiencies at this jail. We believe, however, that the conduct in this case is not representative of the defense bar in our community or the lead counsel assigned to the case."

Baker also issued the following statement:

I wish to thank all Jackson County officials who took time this week to respond to the troubling reports from the jail auditor. I was pleased to see us come together Thursday to address these issues in a public session. This gives me great hope for how we can work together to greatly improve the conditions and operations of the jail.

The jail has an enormous impact on public safety in our community. It’s imperative that it be a model facility that protects all inmates and staff. As you may know, there’s an ongoing investigation of contraband and other issues at the jail. This is a significant public safety threat. We continue to investigate inmates using illegal cell phones without any monitoring to conduct criminal activity or initiate threats and intimidating actions against victims and witnesses – from their jail cell.

I wish to stress that my office will not hesitate to take all appropriate steps to protect victims and witnesses from intimidation and threats leveled from the Jackson County Detention Center. Our community expects that the jail be an asset to public safety, not a threat to it.

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