Judge to Monitor Kansas' Actions on Gay Marriage
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has told Kansas that for three more years he will monitor its compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court's historic decision legalizing gay marriage across the nation. U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree issued a permanent order yesterday (FRI) barring the state from treating same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples in allowing them to marry or extending the benefits of marriage to them. He ruled in a lawsuit filed in 2014 against the state's health and revenue departments. The U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision last year. Crabtree said the state's actions since the high court ruling suggested Kansas might not fully comply without a permanent injunction. The attorney general's office did not immediately return telephone and email messages seeking comment.
Kansas Man Convicted of Raping, Killing 100-year-old Woman
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A southern Kansas man has been convicted in the 2014 death and sexual assault of 100-year-old woman. The Wichita Eagle reports that a Sedgwick County jury deliberated about two hours Thursday before convicting Kasey Nesbitt of first-degree felony murder, rape and aggravated burglary with the intent to commit a sexual assault. Jurors concluded that Nesbitt kicked in Martha Schell's door and assaulted her in September 2014. Marc Bennett, the county's district attorney, told jurors that Schell died from blood clots that formed after the attack, which left her with a broken back and other injuries. Nesbitt's sentencing is scheduled for August 18th. He faces up to life in prison on the murder conviction, as well as up to 54 years for the rape conviction.
Suspect in Kansas Police Captain's Death Appears in Court
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 20-year-old man charged in the killing of a Kansas police captain is on suicide watch. Jamaal Lewis wore an anti-suicide prison smock when he made his first court appearance yesterday (FRI). Lewis is charged with capital murder in the shooting death Tuesday of Kansas City, Kansas, police Captain Robert Melton. The judge read the charges against Lewis, which also include aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a weapon. At the end of the hearing, Lewis turned to his family at the back of the courtroom and mouthed "I love you." A man moved toward Lewis and responded: "I love you son. I love you." Jail official Jeff Fewell says Lewis was placed on suicide watch after a mental health evaluation. His next hearing is set for September 23rd.
Kansas Court Upholds Death Penalty for Sheriff's Killing
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence imposed on a man convicted of fatally shooting a sheriff during a 2005 drug raid. Kansas hasn't executed anyone in more than 50 years, and yesterday's (FRI) decision in Scott Cheever's case is only the second time the court has upheld a death sentence under the state's 1994 capital punishment law. The decision came four years after the court ordered a new trial for Cheever over questions about an expert's testimony. The U.S. Supreme Court directed the Kansas court to reconsider. Cheever acknowledged shooting Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels as he tried to serve a warrant at a rural home about 75 miles northeast of Wichita. But Cheever's attorney argued he was too high on methamphetamine for the crime to be premeditated
Kansas Attorney General Sues to Get Guantanamo Bay Records
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is suing the federal government to obtain documents related to plans to move prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Fort Leavenworth. Attorney General Derek Schmidt filed the lawsuit yesterday (FRI) in federal court in Kansas against the U.S. Department of Defense. Schmidt's office filed a Freedom of Information request in December and said in the lawsuit it has not received any records. President Obama's pledge to close the prison for terror suspects in Cuba has been blocked by strong congressional opposition. The Defense Department last year surveyed seven potential sites for housing the prisoners, including Fort Leavenworth. Schmidt and other Kansas Republicans have strongly condemned the idea. A Defense Department spokeswoman declined comment.
Wichita Police Chief Lands White House Invite after Cookout
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas police chief has received an invitation to the White House after hosting a cookout to promote dialogue between law enforcement and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Wichita Eagle reports that Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay was invited to the White House yesterday (FRI) to discuss community policing. City spokesman Ken Evans says Ramsay had to decline because he's serving as the justice of the peace at a wedding over the weekend, but that he'll try to reschedule. The invitation came after Ramsay met with local activist leaders about replacing another planned protest with a cookout that aimed to open a dialogue. Nearly 2,000 people attended the cookout. Videos of officers dancing with people at the cookout have been viewed tens of thousands of times.
Kansas Man Admits Movie Fraud Scheme
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A southern Kansas man faces up to 11 years in federal prison after admitting he fraudulently obtained more than 60,000 DVD movies at discount prices from the Disney Movie Club. Forty-seven-year-old Harvey Self of Derby pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of giving the U.S. Postal Service false names and address for fraudulent purposes. Self admits he created aliases to qualify for discounts while buying DVD and Blu-ray movies, then resold the movies at a profit. Authorities say the net sales of the movies totaled more than $106,000. Self also admitted overstating business losses for tax years 2011 and 2012. Self has told The Associated Press he was just trying to supplement his income so he could support his eight children.