Kan. Supreme Court affirms Fraire murder conviction; Justice Eric Rosen presented the unanimous decision

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
The Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the murder conviction of Julio Fraire of Dodge City for the shooting death of Ramiro Nicolas Bernal which that took place in 2015 in the Dodge City Daily Globe parking lot.

The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the murder conviction of Julio Fraire, 32, of Dodge City.

Fraire was found guilty by a jury in January 2019 in Ford County for the shooting death of Ramiro Nicolas Bernal which took place on July 25, 2015, in the Dodge City Daily Globe parking lot.

Fraire was arrested on Oct. 12, 2016, and was charged with the death of Bernal.

The 2015 incident occurred in the early morning leading up to the Dodge City Days Parade where police and EMS were dispatched to the alley behind the Dodge City Daily Globe.

Upon arrival, units found a 32-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds. The victim, who was later identified as Bernal, was taken to Western Plains Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 1:18 a.m.

Fraire had appealed the guilty verdict claiming for a new trial based on the fact a witness for the State and the defendant wore similar clothing on different days of the trial and the prosecutor did not commit error in telling the jury the State's case, while not perfect, was good and sufficed to support a conviction.

Justice Eric Rosen, writing for a unanimous Kansas Supreme Court, affirmed the convictions, finding no reversible trial errors.

"The Supreme Court found no prejudice and no error when the trial court denied Fraire's motion for a new trial based on the fact a witness for the State and the defendant wore similar clothing on different days of the trial," Rosen wrote. "The Supreme Court also held the prosecutor did not commit error in telling the jury the state's case, while not perfect, was good and sufficed to support a conviction.

"The Supreme Court elected not to address a challenge to the manner in which the trial court responded to a question from the jury, noting Fraire did not preserve the issue for appeal.

"Finally, the Supreme Court rejected Fraire's claim the order in which options were placed on the verdict form improperly influenced the jury's decision. The Supreme Court vacated the postrelease supervision component of the sentence as inconsistent with other release conditions."

Fraire's 2019 jury trial lasted five days with the jury deliberating for six hours before coming in with the verdict of guilty for premeditated first-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for 50 years and an additional 21 months for the firearm conviction.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com