Archive for Thursday, October 26, 1995


October 26, 1995


— The teen-ager accused of shooting and killing 14-year-old Stephanie Perez made his first appearance in Franklin County District Court on Wednesday.

During a brief hearing, District Judge Thomas Sachse set a detention hearing for 1 p.m. today for 16-year-old Nathan Earwood, accused of first-degree murder in the Sept. 24 slaying.

At the hearing, which is the juvenile equivalent of a bond hearing, attorneys also are expected to discuss a prosecution motion to try Earwood as an adult.

Authorities allege that Earwood was one of several teens who went to the Perez family's southwest Ottawa apartment to fight with Stephanie's brothers, whom the teens considered rival gang members.

During the confrontation, Stephanie was struck in the chest with a .22-caliber bullet allegedly fired by Earwood. Stephanie, described by authorities as an innocent bystander, died hours later.

Earwood surrendered to authorities Oct. 1 in Topeka, but his appearance in Franklin County was delayed by a series of probation violation hearings in Shawnee County. On Oct. 12, Earwood stipulated -- the juvenile equivalent of pleading guilty in adult court -- to violating probation terms granted in July in connection with a vandalism case.

Tuesday, a judge imposed an eight-month sentence for the probation violation and ordered Earwood to pay court costs, attorney's fees and restitution.

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