Monday, February 8, 2010

Kansas city metro man faces death penalty for strangling wife, killing baby

A suburban Kansas City, KS man faces either the rest of his life in prison or the death penalty for killing his wife, then dumping her body along the side of the road. Jason Cott, 30, of Overland Park, KS, was charged with capital murder for strangling his wife, and killing their unborn child. Capital murder carries life without parole or the death penalty. Johnson County prosecutors also have the option of filing two 1st degree murder charges, which carry a minimum sentence of 50 years without parole.

On Jan. 20, authorities found the body of Angela Cott, 29, along U.S. 69 in Miami County but soon transferred the case to Lenexa police. They said they believed she was killed at the Knights Inn, 9630 Rosehill Road.

The capital charge is possible because of what is known as Alexa’s Law, passed three years ago. The Kansas law makes it a crime to kill or wound an unborn child during an attack on the mother. The law is similar to federal law signed in 2004. It was passed after Scott Peterson killed his wife, Laci, and her unborn son in California.

This is the second time the Kansas law has been used in Johnson County. The first time this charge was used was when Brandon Reed killed his "girlfriend," Christina Osburn, in her Shawnee KS apartment. He was sentenced to life without parole last year.

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