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Murder Charge Filed in Topeka Officer's Killing

Chad Taylor 9-10-2014 by SK-smallChad Taylor speakign to reporters about the charges. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor says he is filing a capital murder charge and will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a Topeka Police officer. Taylor says Ross Preston Lane is charged with shooting Topeka Police Corporal Jason Harwood during a traffic stop Sunday. Taylor says under state law, the premeditated killing of a police officer is one of the scenarios justifying a capital murder charge.
 
“We fact-checked every component of this to make sure that it does fit those parameters, it clearly does. As the district attorney, I deem that filing a capital case in this situation is absolutely appropriate,” says Taylor.
 
Taylor thanked what he called the “good Samaritans” who came to Corporal Harwood’s aid following the shooting. Another man, Randy Allen Ridens Jr., was also charged in connection with the killing. He allegedly helped Lane escape following the shooting.
 
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(VERSION TWO)
Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor is filing a capital murder charge and will seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a Topeka Police officer. Taylor says Ross Preston Lane is charged with shooting Topeka Police Corporal Jason Harwood during a traffic stop Sunday. Taylor says in cases like this he consults with the victim’s family about the charges and the possibility of pursuing the death penalty.
 
“We have a very long discussion about what this process is going to entail and I always seek and value their input. Obviously, they're the ones who made that ultimate sacrifice of losing their family member or their loved one. But ultimately, that decision rests with me,” says Taylor.
 
Under state law, the premeditated killing of a police officer is one of the scenarios that can justify a capital murder charge. Also arrested in connection with the killing is Randy Allen Ridens Jr. He allegedly helped Lane escape following the shooting.

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