Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kansas City attorney who was convicted of murder wants law license back

Richard Buchli IIA Kansas City Attorney that was found guilty of murdering his law partner in a downtown office is fighting to get his license back.  Richard Buchli as an attorney licensed in the state of Missouri and at one time he was convicted of murdering his law partner.  The case was later turned over because the prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory evidence.  Mr. Buchli was released and given back his freedom, with the promise from the prosecutors office that he would be tried again for the offense.  That promise was squashed when a court of appeals threw out all of their evidence.  Here is the updated article in the KC Star.

Attorney whose murder conviction was tossed fights to regain law license

By Tony Rizzo and Mark Morris

A disbarred Kansas City attorney once convicted of killing his law partner is fighting to regain his law license.  Richard Buchli II wants the Missouri Supreme Court to set aside its 2005 disbarment order, which was based on his 2002 first-degree murder conviction in the death of Richard Armitage in their downtown office.  Citing evidence withheld from the defense, a judge overturned Buchli’s conviction six years ago. Though Jackson County prosecutors had planned to retry Buchli, they dismissed the case earlier this year after an appeals court threw out all their evidence.

“In order to move forward and have the opportunity to reclaim some financial security,” Buchli’s law license “should be reinstated without any further delay,” attorney Robert Ernest Gould wrote in a court filing on Buchli’s behalf.  Reached by phone last week, Buchli, 62, declined to comment, but on a website devoted to his case, he thanked the attorneys who fought for years on his behalf.

“Due to a hurried and incomplete investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death of my friend and partner, Richard E. Armitage, I was wrongly accused and tried for his murder,” Buchli wrote.  When the Missouri Supreme Court disbarred Buchli, it cited the murder conviction as its sole reason, but the lack of a murder charge or conviction doesn’t necessarily mean a lawyer will be reinstated, said Ellen Suni, dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City law school.

Disciplinary authorities are not bound by the same standard of proof that is required to obtain a conviction, Suni said.  “They could look at all of the underlying facts and determine whether or not they believed a crime was committed,” she said. “It doesn’t require that there be a conviction.”  No jury or judge has acquitted Buchli. With no statute of limitations on murder, charges could be filed again some day. “We are actively working the case,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.  Baker does not want Buchli to regain his law license. Neither does Richard Armitage’s widow, Kathy Armitage.

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