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A New Sort of Lesbian Panic Defense

A New Sort of Lesbian Panic Defense


James Kraig Kahler, the Meriden, Kan., man accused of murdering his wife, their two teenage daughters, and her grandmother in 2009, told a Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent that he was upset because his wife began a lesbian relationship that broke up their marriage, the agent testified in court last week.

Kahler, 48, is charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his wife, Karen, 44; her grandmother Dorothy Wight, 89; and the couple's two daughters, Lauren, 16, and Emily, 18, on November 28, 2009. According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, Kahler tried to introduce another woman, Sunny Reese, into the bedroom for a threesome to spice up the couple's sex life. It ended up with Kahler's wife and Reese beginning a relationship that Kahler says caused the breakdown of his marriage.

William Halverson, a now-retired KBI special agent, testified that Kahler told him he had a "great marriage" and a "perfect family" while the family lived in Weatherford, Texas, prior to moving to Kansas. Kahler also told the agent his wife had been thinking for several years about starting a relationship with a woman. Kahler said he told his wife to try it, but he hoped he wouldn't lose her, Halverson said.

"I was trying to be nice about it," Halverson quoted Kahler as saying.

Apparently the nice guy thing didn't pan out. Kahler faces the death penalty if found guilty.

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