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A woman who once served as counsel for a convicted murderer was sentenced for smuggling drugs to her former client, with whom she was romantically involved.
Former Kansas attorney Juliane Colby, 44, will spend the next 13 months in federal prison for smuggling heroin to an inmate doing time at the Western Missouri Correctional Center, according to the Department of Justice. Colby pleaded guilty in February, admitting she conspired with others to get contraband to the inmate — named in court documents as “Conspirator One.”
Although the Feds didn’t name the recipient of the drugs, several news outlets — including Law & Crime and the New York Post — report that “Conspirator One” is convicted murderer Ce-Antonyo Kennedy, 25.
A probable cause statement released by the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney in 2017 shows Colby and Kennedy then had a history of exchanging texts of a sexual nature and exhibited “inappropriate behavior.”
These state-level charges were cited in Tuesday’s federal release.
Kennedy was one of three people charged with the assault and shooting death of a 14-year-old girl at a Kansas City water park in January 2015, according to prosecutors.
At the time, Colby worked for the state public defender’s office; Kennedy was being held at the Jackson County Detention Center awaiting trial on then murder charges.
A Jackson County jury found him guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action in April 7, 2017.
Feds say that Colby and “Conspirator One” had a “romantic relationship” that between started in 2017; that corresponds to the July 2017 probable cause statement in the contraband case against Kennedy that identifies Juliane Colby and Ce-Antonyo Kennedy by name.
“While the murder case was pending, Conspirator One was found to have illegally possessed a cell phone that had been smuggled into the jail,” Feds stated. “Colby and Conspirator One communicated with each other using the contraband cell phone.”
The texts — sent between Feb. 2, 2017, and April 22, 2017 — were made public when state prosecutors announced charges against the two in August 2017.
“Women hit their sexual peaks around late 30s to early 40s, and guys hit theirs in their early 20s, so that is why you see older women with younger men,” Colby texted.
“So [you’re] at your sexual peak,” Kennedy responded. “Meaning this is a time in your [life] where you’re the most freakiest?”
“No, I’m an exception,” Colby wrote. “I’ve always been in a sexual peak, and I’m Asian, so I’ve always been a freak!”
“Freaky enough to give it to me in a jail visitation room? LOL” Kennedy responded.
Although prosecutors didn’t explicitly accuse the pair of being sexually intimate, jail guards did report “suspicious” incidents on different dates in 2017. One corrections officer reported a time Colby bought Kennedy clothes to try on and asked if she could help him (though the probable cause statement didn’t disclose whether or not Colby's request was permitted).
Other corrections officers noted times she touched him or rubbed her bare feet on his leg. A surveillance camera also captured Colby putting candy into the inmate’s mouth.
Officials searched Kennedy’s cell after inmates posted videos from within the jail on Facebook. That was when they found the illegal cell phone, along with an envelope containing women’s underwear.
“I asked Ce-Antonyo Kennedy if the underwear belonged to the female attorney who has been visiting him numerous times, but he denied it,” wrote Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Sidney Anderson.
Facing criminal charges over providing Kennedy with the cell phone, Colby entered a diversion program and completed it in May 2019, but she allegedly resumed visiting “Conspirator One” regularly, according to federal prosecutors.
Colby began visiting “Conspirator One” at the state prison in August 2019, where he was serving his 15-year sentence.
“Colby and Conspirator One had a series of phone conversations during which they used a variety of code words to discuss the plan to mail heroin and contraband into the center,” federal officials wrote. “During these calls, Colby and Conspirator One also discussed a previous successful delivery of heroin.”
Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 10, 2019, federal officials say Colby hid a total of 3.25 grams of black tar heroin in the flap of an envelope marked “legal mail.” Colby used a fictitious return address before sending the envelopes — also containing of photos of herself — to a second inmate, who relayed the contraband to “Conspirator One.”
Colby was originally charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, attempted distribution of heroin, and two counts of use of a communication facility.
According to federal court records obtained by Law & Crime, Colby’s defense cited her background as basis for a light sentence. They detailed her being abandoned in South Korea as a baby, her subsequent time in a South Korean orphanage, and the sudden death of her father.
“Ms. Colby desperately seeks approval from loved ones, always feeling as if she is not good enough to receive it,” her defense wrote. Attorneys also noted that she was a single mother of a 12-year-old daughter with no criminal record.
As part of her plea, she is not eligible for parole.
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