Shawnee attorney sentenced to prison for smuggling heroin to Missouri inmate

Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo. Image via Western Missouri Correctional Center Facebook page.

Juliane L. Colby, a Shawnee resident and former Missouri public defender, was sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to mailing heroin to her romantic partner in the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo.

Driving the news: Colby, 44, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays six months after her guilty plea in February.

  • She was accused of mailing the heroin and other contraband along with documents in an envelope marked “legal mail” to one of the inmates.
  • The indictment said she and an unindicted co-conspirator used code words to avoid detection.

Background: According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri, Colby had begun a relationship with the inmate while working on his defense team on a first-degree murder charge in 2017.

  • The man, reported to be Ce-Antonyo Kennedy, was later convicted in the killing of 14-year-old eighth grader Alexis Kane.
  • During that case, the release said, Kennedy was found to have a contraband cell phone that had been smuggled into jail.
  • Colby entered a diversion agreement in that case, and charges against her were dismissed.

Details: Her federal charge arises from August 2019 events in which correction officials recorded phone calls and plans to deliver the heroin to the same inmate, now in Cameron.

  • Prosecutors say the envelope had a fictitious return address purportedly from a Harrisonville, Mo., law office but bearing a Shawnee postmark.
  • The envelope contained 3.25 grams of black tar heroin in eight small baggies, along with the court documents from an inactive case and photos of herself, prosecutors said.

What else: Colby was listed as an attorney in good standing on the Missouri Bar’s search page Wednesday.

  • A check of the Kansas Bar Association and Kansas Supreme Court turned up no entries under her name.

Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who reports frequently for the Post and other Kansas City area publications. You can reach her at roxieham@gmail.com