Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Featured / Supreme Court disbars attorney, suspends another after guilty pleas

Supreme Court disbars attorney, suspends another after guilty pleas

The Missouri Supreme Court on March 7 took action against two attorneys who were convicted of crimes.

The court disbarred former Kansas City public defender Juliane L. Colby after she pleaded guilty last year to helping in an attempt to deliver drugs to an imprisoned offender she once represented. Colby had been charged in state court in 2017 after texting on an illicit cell phone with inmate Ce-Antonyo D. Kennedy, who was being held in the Jackson County jail on murder charges. Colby had been a mitigation specialist on his team.

According to court records, Colby entered into a diversion agreement with the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel in 2019. But later that year, federal prosecutors alleged that she worked with another conspirator to smuggle heroin to Kennedy, with whom she had a romantic relationship, while he was imprisoned in Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron. She was sentenced last year to 13 months in prison and supervised release for three years.

OCDC said it was particularly troubling that Colby had smuggled the drugs using an envelope marked as “Legal Mail.”

“The use of her status as an attorney to facilitate the crime greatly tarnishes the public’s impression of the legal profession,” the agency wrote.

Colby was admitted to the bar in 2014. The case is In re: Colby, SC99907.

Also on March 7, the Supreme Court issued an interim suspension to James I. Crabtree, a former municipal prosecuting attorney for Jefferson County.

Crabtree pleaded guilty last year to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of false statements to federal investigators.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Crabtree met a woman, who was a defendant in several pending cases, in his courthouse office after regular business hours and kissed her, touched her body and had her take a portion of her clothing off. He later was alleged to have lied about the encounter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Crabtree resigned from office prior to the filing of charges in 2022. He was admitted to the bar in 2010.

In its motion filed in January, OCDC said it was seeking an interim suspension pending final disposition of Crabtree’s criminal case. According to federal court records, he subsequently was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

The case is In re: Crabtree, SC99937.