The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday ordered a new sentencing hearing for a man convicted in the 2009 kidnapping and murder of an Overland Park teenager.
The court on Friday upheld the Johnson County murder conviction of Joseph Mattox in the killing of 18-year-old Keighley Alyea.
Mattox, now 29, was previously sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years.
But the court threw out the sentence on Friday because a judge, and not a jury, had imposed the sentence.
The court had previously made the same ruling in the case of a co-defendant, Dustin Hilt.
In 2015, a Johnson County jury once again sentenced Hilt to the so-called “Hard 50” sentence.
Mattox and Hilt are cousins. Hilt was Alyea’s former boyfriend.
According to court testimony, Alyea was kidnapped in September 2009. She was beaten with a pipe and stabbed and thrown into a car trunk.
When she started kicking and screaming, she was beaten and stabbed to death.