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Published April 23, 2014, 10:54 AM

Kansas man's attorney wants "Murder" tattoo dealt with before trial (w/ video)

Barton County, KS (CNN) - A murder trial is set to begin at the Barton County Court House in Kansas in less than a week. The focus has shifted from the crime to the tattoo on the accused killer.

By: Hannah Davis, KWCH, CNN

Barton County, KS (CNN) - A murder trial is set to begin at the Barton County Court House in Kansas in less than a week. The focus has shifted from the crime to the tattoo on the accused killer.

People in Great Bend had strong reactions to Jeffery Chapman's tattoo. The word "Murder" in big block letters is spelled backwards across his neck.

Prosecutors say Chapman killed a man in November of 2011. His trial is set to begin April 28th. In court documents, Chapman's attorney says the tattoo needs to be removed before then or covered up with more permanent ink. But Kansas law prohibits any tattooing outside of a licensed tattoo parlor - and Chapman is stuck in this jail.

Charlie O'Hara - Defense Attorney: “Obviously you want to hide that from a jury.”

Charlie O'Hara is a defense attorney in Wichita he doesn't represent chapman. But we talked to him about what a tattoo like this could mean for the defense.

Charlie O’Hare: “Whenever you try a jury trial, the appearance of the defendant makes a lot difference.”

O’Hara says a tattoo doesn't have to say "Murder" for it to cause a problem and some of the people in Great Bend seem to agree.

The defense hopes to avoid the negative connotation a “Murder” tattoo may bring at trial.

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