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Headlines for Thursday, October 25, 2018

 

Man Pleads Guilty in Death of Kansas Police Captain

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a Kansas police captain in July 2016.  Jamaal Lewis was scheduled to go to trial on November 5, but he pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree felony murder in the killing of 46-year-old Capt. Robert Melton in Kansas City, Kansas.  Melton was searching for suspects in a drive-by shooting when he saw Lewis walking and tried to block him with his patrol car. Prosecutors say Lewis pulled a handgun and fired several shots through the passenger-side window of Melton's vehicle.  The Kansas City Star reports that Lewis was originally charged with capital murder.  Lewis could be sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 25 years. He will be sentenced November 30.

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No Charges After Car Crashes into Topeka Cafe, Killing One Person

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An 82-year-old woman whose car accidentally crashed into a Topeka cafe, causing the death of a customer, will not face charges.  Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said Thursday charges won't be filed against Peggy Turner, of Topeka. He said an investigation into the July 26 crash at Banjo's Cafe found no evidence of criminal conduct.  Shawnee County Sheriff's officials said Turner was parking at the cafe when she unintentionally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. Her SUV went into the restaurant and struck several tables.  A customer, 80-year-old Joyce Kasson, was hospitalized. Her injuries were originally not considered life threatening but she died two days later.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports an autopsy found Kasson died from complications from injuries suffered when she was struck.

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Once Convicted of Incest, Ex-Con Gets Just 5-Years in Prison for Trying to Buy Child for Sex

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kansas man who prosecutors say tried to purchase a child online for $500 and some meth has been sentenced to five years in prison.  News outlets report 49-year-old Ernest Anziana was sentenced Friday.  Franklin Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Zach Becker previously said Anziana was snared during an undercover investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Branch, and there was no actual girl for sale. He said Anziana intended to have sex with the 11-year-old girl, impregnate her and keep that child.  Attorney General Andy Beshear's office said Anziana offered $500; previous reports said he offered $250.  Kansas Department of Corrections records indicate Anziana was previously convicted of incest. He'll be required to complete a sex offender treatment program upon release.

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Daughter Testified Against Father at Murder Trial involving 3-Year-Old Wichita Boy

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The daughter of a man convicted of abusing and killing a 3-year-old Kansas boy says she felt compelled to testify about the abuse she also suffered.  Samantha Johnson is the daughter of Stephen Bodine, who was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the May 2017 death of Evan Brewer.  Evan's body was found encased in concrete at his Wichita home in September last year.  Johnson says she endured abuse similar to that inflicted on Evan. She says testifying about it was difficult, but that she did it to honor Evan because he didn't get a chance to tell his story.  Johnson says she can now move on.  Bodine will be sentenced December 17.

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Woman Dies from Injuries Suffered in Topeka Apartment Fire

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 70-year-old woman has died from injuries suffered in a Topeka apartment fire.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports fire officials announced the death of Katherine Bushey in a news release Thursday. She was injured early Wednesday in a fire that officials are blaming on improper disposal of smoking materials.

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Judge: Videotape of Kris Kobach Deposition Won't be Made Public

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge says a videotaped deposition of Secretary of State Kris Kobach won't be released to the public.  The Kansas City Star reports Judge Julie Robinson's ruling on Thursday prevents the American Civil Liberties Union from releasing the tape.  The deposition includes details about Kobach's private talks with President Donald Trump and members of Congress. A transcript of the video is public.  Robinson said the public's interest was served when the deposition was viewed at a federal trial earlier this year and when the transcript was unsealed.  An attorney in Kobach's office argued the videotape could be used for attack ads in Kobach's campaign for governor.  An ACLU attorney suggested Kobach didn't want the videotape released because it detailed efforts to make it more difficult for citizens to vote.

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3 College Basketball Recruiting Insiders Convicted in NYC; Case Has Implications for KU

NEW YORK (AP) — Three insiders from the world of college basketball recruiting have been convicted in a corruption case that prosecutors said exposed the sport's underbelly.  A jury reached the verdict Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.  The government had accused a former Adidas executive, a business manager and the director of an amateur league in a scheme to funnel tens of thousands of dollars in secret payments to the families so the prospects would commit to Adidas-sponsored schools.  Prosecutors said the defendants committed fraud by concealing the payments that violated NCAA rules. Defense lawyers argued there was no evidence colleges suffered any harm.  The case caused a scandal that forced the exit of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino last year.  (Read more about this story.)

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Jayhawks Coach Bill Self Denies Ever Offering Improper Benefits to Players

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas basketball coach Bill Self emphatically denied Wednesday night that members of his staff ever offered impermissible benefits to prospective players, hours after Jayhawks forward Silvio De Sousa was indefinitely benched amid questions about his relationship with an apparel company.  The case centers on Kansas apparel partner Adidas and its former marketing executive, Jim Gatto, who was convicted in federal court in New York earlier in the day of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Adidas consultant Merl Code and NBA agent runner Christian Dawkins also were convicted in the case. All three of the defendants had been accused of funneling money from Adidas to the families of recruits at Kansas, Louisville and its other sponsored schools — a trial that was closely watched across the sport as some of its biggest names were drawn into the spotlight.  Self learned of the guilty verdicts while attending Big 12 media day in Kansas City. He refrained from comment until Kansas Chancellor Doug Girod and athletic director Jeff Long issued a statement, then spoke at a news conference at Allen Fieldhouse a day before the No. 1 Jayhawks' exhibition opener.  "When recruiting prospective student-athletes, my staff and I have not and do not offer improper inducements to them or their families, nor are we aware of any third party to do so," Self said. "As the leader of the men's basketball program, I take pride in my role to operate with integrity and within the NCAA rules, which is a fundamental responsibility of being a head basketball coach."

Self declined to discuss specifics of the case, saying multiple times he could not comment until all inquiries are concluded. Two federal cases are still pending in the FBI's corruption investigation.

Kansas officials do not believe last year's Big 12 title or Final Four will be jeopardized because De Sousa had been declared by the NCAA eligible at the time. But it left his status going forward in limbo, and the Jayhawks erred on the side of caution by withholding him from games.  "From a commonsense standpoint we have had new developments that we were unaware of," Self said. "We know positively that we will work with the NCAA hand-in-hand on his eligibility review."  The University of Kansas also plans to review the eligibility of all its current athletes.  Meanwhile, Chancellor Girod said no decision has been made about a long-term contract extension with Adidas. The sides had agreed to the $191 million deal in late 2007 but the contract was never signed.  "We continue to evaluate our options. There is no timetable for a decision," Girod said. "A strong apparel partnership is important and beneficial to all our student-athletes and our institution, and we will take great care in making the right decision for KU."

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Texts to Voters Purportedly from Trump Roil Kansas Election

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas election officials are reviewing text messages claiming to be from President Donald Trump and telling residents that their early votes haven't been recorded.  State Elections Director Bryan Caskey says the secretary of state's office received 50 or 60 calls about the texts Wednesday. He says the office is trying to determine whether the texts violated a law before determining what to do next.  The texts link to a website for the Republican National Committee. It didn't immediately return an email seeking comment.  Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kelly Arnold says state officials didn't send the texts but described them as part of a get-out-the-vote effort.  But Kansas House Minority Leader Jim Ward said during a news conference Thursday that he worries the texts were designed to "sow confusion."

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Parole Denied for Janitor Who Killed Kansas Girl in 1974

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — Parole has been denied for a school janitor who subdued a 13-year-old girl with chloroform more than 40 years ago as she walked home from a suburban Kansas City pool and then killed her.  The Kansas City Star reports that the Kansas Prisoner Review Board has ruled that 71-year-old John Henry Horton will have to wait until 2023 for his next chance to be released from prison.  He wasn't arrested until 2003 for the 1974 death of Liz Wilson. She vanished while cutting through the parking lot of Shawnee Mission East High School. Her remains were found six months later.  Horton was sentenced to life in prison. But life, under Kansas law in force at the time of Liz's death, meant serving only 15 years before being eligible for parole.

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Man Receives Parole in 1993 Shawnee County Murder

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man convicted in a 1993 carjacking and murder in Topeka has been granted parole, but he won't get out of prison right away.  The Kansas Department of Corrections says 43-year-old Joshua Kaiser was granted parole recently in the death of 33-year-old Tim Riley of Topeka.  Corrections spokesman Samir Arif says Kaiser will still serve a 32-month sentence for an aggravated battery committed in Reno County.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Kaiser's sentence for that crime is expected to end January 2021.  Kaiser and 42-year-old Jason Schaeffer, an inmate at Ellsworth Correctional Facility, were convicted of crimes linked to Riley's murder.  Authorities said Riley was robbed of his car outside his central Topeka home, forced at gunpoint into the trunk and driven to another area, where he was fatally shot.

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No Decision Yet in Case of Beanbag Shooting Death of Suspect

MEDICINE LODGE, Kan. (AP) — A judge is waiting for written opinions before deciding whether there is sufficient evidence for a Kansas undersheriff to be tried for involuntary manslaughter for fatally shooting a man with a beanbag round.  KWCH-TV reports that a final decision isn't expected until February in the case against Barber County Undersheriff Virgil "Dusty" Brewer. The involuntary manslaughter charge stems from the October 6, 2017, death of Steven Myers, who was shot after leaving a shed. Authorities tracked Myers to the shed after he was accused of threatening people with a gun outside a bar in Sun City, about 110 miles west of Wichita.  A Kansas Bureau of Investigation special agent testified during the preliminary hearing that Brewer hadn't received any training in the use of beanbag rounds.

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Teen Charged with Felony in Assault that Was Caught on Video

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A 17-year-old Missouri boy has been charged with pointing a gun at the head of a kneeling 13-year-old after a video of the incident was widely shared on social media.  Alexander Schrader, of Independence, was charged Wednesday with first-degree robbery for allegedly taking money from the younger teen. A police detective wrote in charging documents that Schrader pressed a semiautomatic handgun against the victim's head Saturday while another teen told the boy to kiss his feet. A video also shows a friend of Schrader punching the victim in the face in an Independence neighborhood. The boy was bruised but refused medical treatment.  The juvenile that punched the boy and another juvenile that recorded the incident also were arrested. Police spokesman John Syme says he doesn't know if they have attorneys.

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Wichita Police Officer Won't be Charged in Fatal Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita police officer will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a man who was holding his girlfriend at knifepoint.  Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said Tuesday the officer who shot Jose Ortiz in August 2017 used reasonable force in firing one shot that struck Ortiz in the head.  Bennett says an autopsy showed Ortiz was using methamphetamine during the confrontation, and the meth caused Ortiz to believe his girlfriend was hiding men in her bathroom.  The district attorney says SWAT officers who entered the home found Ortiz holding his girlfriend with a knife. Her hands were tied behind her back.  Ortiz ignored commands to release his girlfriend. Bennett says when the woman winced in pain, the officer believed she was being stabbed and fired once.

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At Least 13 Reports of Mold in a Kansas State Dormitory

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State officials say every room in one dormitory on the Manhattan campus will be inspected after residents reported at least 13 cases of mold this semester.  School officials said Wednesday the mold found in Ford Hall during recent inspections was inactive and not growing. But starting Thursday, the university will inspect the air handling system in all of Ford Hall's rooms.  The Kansas City Star reports Ford Hall is an all-female dormitory that houses more than 500 students.  School officials could then clean the affected areas, repair damaged pipe insulation or treat the areas with mold-resistant paint.

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Jury Convicts Kansas Doctor in Drug Distribution Conspiracy

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal jury has convicted a Kansas doctor accused of unlawfully prescribing pain medication blamed in one patient's death.  The U.S. attorney's office said in a news release that 57-year-old Steven R. Henson of Wichita was convicted Tuesday of unlawfully distributing methadone and alprazolam, the use of which resulted in the death of a victim on July 24, 2015.  The doctor was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside the course of medical practice, unlawfully distributing various prescription drugs, presenting false patient records to investigators, obstruction of justice and money laundering.  Prosecutors alleged at trial that Henson wrote prescriptions in return for cash, post-dated prescriptions and wrote prescriptions without a medical need or legitimate medical exam.  Sentencing will be set at a later date.

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FBI Investigating Sedgwick County Commission

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County commissioners say the FBI is interviewing county officials and employees as part of an investigation into the commission.  The Wichita Eagle reports interviews and documents it obtained indicate the investigation involves possible obstruction of justice surrounding some commissioners' efforts to oust County Manager Michael Scholes.  County memos show at least one commissioner asked legal staff about firing Scholes after he reported information on commissioner conduct to the FBI.  None of the memos The Eagle reviewed clarify what information Scholes may have provided to the bureau.  Commissioner Richard Ranzau confirmed that the FBI has been interviewing county officials and employees.  Commission Chairman David Dennis says the county is conducting its own investigation into personnel issues that have affected worker morale and prompted employees to resign or retire.

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Former Kansas City Fire Captain Charged with Sales to Felons

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Kansas City fire captain faces more charges for allegedly selling guns to felons.  The Kansas City Star reports that grand jury indictment returned Wednesday in the case against 53-year-old James Samuels contains five additional counts of selling a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person. The 14-counts indictment also has two additional counts of knowingly transferring a gun for use in a violent crime.  Samuels resigned from the Kansas City Fire Department on October 8, four days after he was arrested. He remains jailed without bond.  The indictment alleges that Samuels had been involved in illegally dealing numerous firearms since 2014.

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World War II Soldier Buried in Kansas 74 Years After Death

FORT SCOTT, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas soldier who was killed in World War II has been laid to rest at Fort Scott National Cemetery, 74 years after his death.  Army Pfc. Leslie Shankles, of Arcadia, was buried with full military honors on Wednesday at the cemetery in Bourbon County. A graveside service took place in the cemetery's committal shelter, with relatives, service members and veterans attending.  The Joplin Globe reports Shankles was born in Vernon County, Missouri, and later lived in Crawford County, Kansas.  He was killed during a mission to demolish the enemy's above-ground bunkers in a forest near Germeter, Germany.  Shankles was officially declared dead on October 14, 1944. His remains were discovered in 1947. They were identified in July, using a DNA sample from one of his nephews.

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University Receives $22.4 Million in Grants for Rural Education
 
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri College of Education has received a total of $22.4 million in grants, which will support rural education in Kansas and Missouri, and help schoolchildren develop social skills.  The university announced Wednesday it received an $18.6 million from two federal grants, which will be matched by $3.8 million from Kansas City Audio-Visual.  The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the grants will go toward increasing science, technology, engineering and math education in 58 high-need, rural middle schools in Missouri and Kansas over five years. Around 406 teachers and 26,796 students are expected to benefit.  A smaller portion of the money will help develop social skills in schoolchildren.  The grants were awarded to the Enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies, or eMINTS, National Center in the college.

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Who Won the Mega Millions Lottery? Why Some States Allow Winners Secrecy

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Like the location of Jimmy Hoffa's body, the identity of the winner of one of the second-biggest lottery in American history may remain hidden forever. That's because of where the person bought the ticket.  South Carolina is one of a handful of states that play Mega Millions and allow winners to remain anonymous. Lawmakers say anonymity can protect winners from being targeted by criminals and unscrupulous people coming out of the woodwork asking for money.  Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas all allow anonymity to Mega Millions winners.  In Arizona, people who win more than $600 can keep their names secret for 90 days after claiming prizes, but after that names are public record. In Michigan, winners are anonymous unless they win Mega Millions or Powerball prizes.

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