Republican Lawmaker Barred After Arrest and Conflicts of Interest In Murder Case

( – After mishandling conflicts of interest in a murder case, Republican Kansas state Rep. Carl Maughan, from Colwich, is barred from practicing law for at least a year.

Maughan’s law license was suspended following the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling that when Maughan was representing Bret Blevins in a 2016 crash that killed two men, he violated professional standards by mishandling conflicts of interest.

The conflicts of interest in the case surrounded Blevins’ girlfriend, Tammy Akers, who was in the car with Blevins when the two men were struck and killed. Previously represented by Maughan in a DUI case, Akers and her husband paid Maughan $30,000 to defend Blevins. A key witness for the prosecution during Blevins’ trial, Akers was blamed for the accident as Maughan suggested she had been driving the vehicle.

While Blevins was convicted on all charges and sentenced to almost 61 years in prison, in 2021, the Kansas Court of Appeals overturned his convictions, ruling that Blevins did not receive effective assistance from counsel. Though he maintained his innocence, Blevins entered a plea deal where he pled guilty and received a 17-year sentence. Blevins has filed a malpractice lawsuit against Maughan for how he handled the case.

According to the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling, the conflict-of-interest waivers signed by Akers and Blevins did not fully inform them of the consequences.

A licensed attorney in Kansas since 1997, Maughan will have to undergo a reinstatement hearing before his law license is reinstated.

In March, Maughan was arrested during a traffic stop in Topeka. He is facing charges of DUI, possession of a firearm while under the influence, failure to maintain safe passage from a single lane, and failure to signal a lane change.

In May, Maughan announced he was ending his re-election campaign. However, since he missed the withdrawal deadline, his name will still appear on the primary ballot.

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