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Headlines for Saturday, October 26, 2019

Two KCK Men Sentenced for Kidnapping, Robbing Women

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two Kansas City, Kansas, men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for kidnapping and robbing three women. The Kansas City Star reports that 37-year-old Anthony Williams and 34-year-old Jamerl Wortham were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri. Williams was sentenced to four consecutive life terms without parole. Wortham was sentenced to 60 years without parole. The crimes occurred in April 2016. The men and a third man stole a Jaguar in Kansas City, Kansas, and drove into Kansas City, Missouri. They kidnapped a woman waiting for an Uber, then later forced two women in a Toyota Camry into that car's backseat. The men drove the two vehicles back across the state line, then later forced all three women to withdraw money from an ATM.


Man Struck, Killed by Car While Walking on Highway

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man is dead after being struck by a car while walking down the middle of a Kansas highway. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the victim was struck shortly after 4 a.m. Friday on U.S. 40 just east of Topeka. His name has not been released. Shawnee County Sgt. Scott Wanamaker says authorities were first called with a report that a man was walking in the middle of the road. Minutes later, another call notified authorities that a car had struck the pedestrian. Police say the man was dead by the time officers arrived. Wanamaker says the incident does not appear suspicious and there was no indication the driver was impaired.


Kansas Court Rules Criminal Threat Law Unconstitutional

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has struck down part of a state law against making a criminal threat after concluding it violates free speech rights. The court on Friday declared unconstitutional a provision of the law making it illegal to communicate a threat of violence with "reckless disregard" of the risk that it might cause fear. The justices said that part of the law is so broad that it could affect the speech of political protesters and violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court overturned criminal threat convictions in two cases. One from Douglas County involved a man convicted of making a reckless criminal threat toward an acquaintance in a convenience store. Another from Montgomery County involved man's threatening language toward his mother.


Embattled Kansas Prosecutor Retires amid Protests

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor is retiring amid calls for her to step down after a Missouri judge overturned the double murder conviction of a man whom she helped send to prison for 23 years. Douglas County Chief Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan's retirement takes effect November 1st. She had been the subject of recent protests because she played a role in the case of Ricky Kidd while working in the Jackson County, Missouri, prosecutor's office. Kidd was freed in August and said previously that McGowan "should be disbarred." The Kansas Supreme Court has previously vacated a sentence for one of McGowan's cases in Lawrence and has pointed to issues in other cases. McGowan didn't immediately return a message from The Associated Press left for her through the prosecutor's office.


New Trial Denied for Day Care Worker in Baby's Death

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has denied a new trial for a Kansas home day care worker who was convicted in the death of a 9-month-old baby. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the sentencing for 44-year-old Carrody Buchhorn is now set for Nov. 18. She faces nine to 10 years in prison. Her sentencing had been delayed while she argued that she deserved a new trial. She got new attorneys after she was convicted last year of unintentionally but recklessly causing the death of Oliver Ortiz in 2016 in Eudora. Her new attorneys challenged the work of her trial attorneys and how they handled the testimony of the coroner, who ruled that the baby's death was a homicide. A judge ruled last week that her trial attorneys "were not ineffective."


Wichita Man Gets Three Life Sentences for Child Sex Crimes

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been sentenced to three life terms for 25 felony sex crimes with six children. The Wichita Eagle reports that 41-year-old Damian Isaac Hallacy is appealing the sentence ordered Wednesday. The investigation started in 2017 after a man found sexual messages from Hallacy on his wife's phone. The probable cause affidavit says the woman sexually abused her 8-year-old daughter at Hallacy's request, and investigators found photos of the abuse on her phone. The woman is expected to be sentenced next month. Her plea agreement called for her to testify against Hallacy and receive a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The Eagle isn't naming her to protect the identity of her daughter because the girl is a victim of a sex crime.


Kansas Cop Involved in Swatting Death Files Lawsuit

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man while responding to a bogus emergency call is suing over wages. The Wichita Eagle reports that Justin Rapp alleges in the lawsuit filed Thursday that he wasn't allowed to resume his usual jobs "in a reasonable amount of time" after fatally shooting 28-year-old Andrew Finch in December 2017. He says that caused him to lose out on $31,000 from his regular police duties in Wichita and a city-approved off-duty security job. Rapp wasn't charged. He said he feared Finch was reaching for a firearm when he fired, not knowing that a hoaxer had reported a fake homicide and hostage situation at Finch's home. A lawsuit filed by Finch's family is pending. The city's attorney declined to comment on Rapp's allegations.


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