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Headlines for Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ex-Lawmaker Named Johnson County Elections Chief

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The new election commissioner in the most populous county in Kansas is a former legislator who is the local Republican Party chairman. Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced yesterday (FRI)  the appointment of former state Representative Ronnie Metsker of Overland Park to the elections job in Johnson County. Metsker will replace Brian Newby, who left the post in November to become executive director of the federal Election Assistance Commission. The secretary of state appoints election commissioners for the state's four most populous counties. Elections in the other 101 counties are run by elected county clerks. Kobach also is a Republican. Metsker served in the House in 2007 and 2008 before becoming Johnson County GOP chairman. He also is president of a faith-based group advocating for civility in public debates.


Brownback Fills Vacancy on Western Kansas District Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback has filled a vacancy in a district court judgeship in southwest Kansas by promoting a local magistrate judge. Brownback announced yesterday (FRI) the appointment of Ricklin Pierce of Garden City as a new Finney County district judge. Pierce replaces Judge Philip Vieux, who retired last year. Pierce has served as a magistrate judge in Finney County. He also is a former Finney County attorney, handling the prosecution of local criminal cases. Brownback's announcement cited Pierce's experience as a magistrate judge and his legal background. A magistrate handles small civil lawsuits, misdemeanor criminal cases and preliminary matters in felony cases. A local nominating commission named Ricklin and fellow Finney County Magistrate Judge Christopher Sanders as finalists for the district court judgeship.


Kansas Man Charged in Killing of Woman at KCK Store

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 29-year-old man has been convicted of fatally shooting his girlfriend in the parking lot of a home improvement store in Kansas City, Kansas. The Wyandotte County prosecutor's office announced yesterday (FRI) that George Lingenfelser of Bonner Springs was found guilty of second degree murder in the December 2014 killing of 29-year-old Janet Billings. Lingenfelser was originally charged with first-degree murder for shooting Billings in the parking lot of a Lowe's Home Improvement store. Other customers were present at the time of the shooting. Sentencing is set for March 3rd.


Man Convicted in Topeka Girl's Abduction, Rape

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man has been convicted of abducting an 8-year-old girl from her Topeka home, then drugging and raping her before she managed to free herself. The Capital-Journal reports that 29-year-old Jeremy James Lindsey was found guilty yesterday (FRI) of 10 counts. Witnesses testified that the girl vanished for about six hours in September 2014 before freeing herself from the telephone cords that bound her. She fled from the abandoned home where she was raped and sought help. While she was missing, about 50 people had searched for her, some on four-wheelers. A defense attorney questioned the victim's testimony. A woman is awaiting trial in the case. She's accused of picking up Lindsey and the girl from a wooded area and dropping them off at the abandoned house.


Manhattan Man Sentenced for Attempted Murder

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — A 31-year-old Kansas man has been sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for stabbing a woman. Samuel Dartez was sentenced yesterday (FRI) in Riley County to 22½ years. He was convicted of attempted first-degree murder in the November 2014 attack on a 27-year-old woman in Manhattan. KMAN reports Dartez will also have to pay $25,000 in restitution. The judge also denied a defense motion for a new trial.

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