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Headlines for Saturday, December 5, 2015

Officials: 6 Republicans in Kansas Presidential Caucus

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Officials say that six Republican presidential candidates have filed to participate in the Kansas Republican Party's caucus in March, while three Democratic candidates have informally pledged to participate in the state's caucus. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Ohio Governor John Kasich was the first Republican to file to participate in the March 5th caucus. He is joined by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, surgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, businessman Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Officials expect more to join the caucus before the January 20th deadline. Kerry Gooch, the state Democratic Party's executive director, says he expects former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley to stay in the race through the state Democratic caucus. The deadline to be included is January 4.


Man Charged in Death of Wichita State Student

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a Wichita State University student. Isaiah Copridge also was charged yesterday (FRI) with aggravated robbery in the death of Rayan Ibrahim Baba, a Saudi national who was found August 8th shot in a parking lot of one of the university's dormitories. Copridge's bond was set at $200,000 at his first appearance Friday. Copridge and Eboni Fingal were arrested the day after Baba was shot. Fingal was charged in October with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 7th. Copridge was rearrested Thursday. His preliminary hearing is set for December 17th. He is being represented by a public defender. An after-hours call to the public defender's office Friday was not answered.


Wife of Kansas Bail Bondsman Feared for Life

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The wife of a Kansas bail bondsman charged with abusing his missing 7-year-old son said she suspected her husband was plotting to kill her and the other children living in the home. In interviews with The Associated Press, Heather Jones alleged that her husband abused her and the boy, Adrian, who is now missing. She also said he was armed with several assault weapons when he was arrested. The remains of a juvenile were found at a barn on the property when police went there last week to investigate a domestic disturbance. Six girls from ages 1 to 10 were taken from the home and are in state custody. Michael A. Jones was charged Monday with child abuse, aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm.


Sheriff: Human Remains near Wichita Identified

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County authorities said human remains found near Wichita earlier this week were those of a man released from prison in June. Sheriff's Capt. Greg Pollock said yesterday (FRI) the remains of James T. Labat were identified using dental records. A cause of death has not been determined. A hunter found the remains Tuesday in a wooded area. Investigators recovered 90 to 95 percent of the remains. Pollock said Labat was released from prison June 15 and was listed as an absconder in July after not reporting to his parole officer. Labat had several convictions for burglary and drug offenses.


Kansas High Court Upholds Murder Conviction

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 41-year-old central Kansas man convicted of killing his wife will be resentenced after the Kansas Supreme Court rejected his bid to have his first-degree murder conviction overturned but said his Hard 50 sentence was unconstitutional. Davin Sprague was sentenced in 2012 to at least 50 years in prison for the September 2011 death of 28-year-old Kandi Sprague. The state Supreme Court yesterday (FRI) rejected Sprague's argument that his conviction should be reversed because of trial errors, noting only two instances of prosecutorial error happened during closing arguments — and both were harmless. The court vacated his sentence because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled such sentences are unconstitutional unless a jury finds the existence of aggravated factors. Sprague initially was sentenced by a judge, rather than a jury.


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