Debora Green, the former Prairie Village physician who was convicted of killing two of her children in 1995, was denied an attempt to have her sentence changed Thursday.
Green is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for 40 years. She was asking for that sentence to be vacated and a new sentence imposed. Her attorney said Thursday that Green wants the sentence converted to life without the “Hard 40” included.
Johnson County District Judge Brenda Cameron ruled Thursday that recent court decisions about sentencing do not apply retroactively to Green’s case and denied her motion. Cameron said that Green benefitted from the plea agreement she made because the prosecution took the death penalty off the table. “The agreement was clear to the defendant,” the judge said. “She received the benefit of that bargain.”
Green agreed to the sentence on the record, Cameron said. That is “different than a … jury trial when the defendant does not agree with the sentence.” A Kansas Supreme Court ruling found that judges can’t impose strict minimum sentences without the affirmation of a jury. Green’s attorney, Michael Bartee, said he will file an appeal of Thursday’s ruling. Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe argued against the motion in court Thursday.
Green pleaded no contest to the charges that she set the fire in the family’s Canterbury Court home that killed her son, Timothy, 13, and daughter Kelly, 6, on Oct. 24, 1995. Green’s third child, Kate, then 10, managed to escape. Green also was charged with the attempted murder of her estranged husband, cardiologist Michael Farrar, by poisoning with ricin.
Green, 63, won’t be eligible for parole until Nov. 1, 2035, when she is 84, if the ruling stands.