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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Two charged in murders of Wichita teens, youth

Families mourn loss at court appearance

December 12, 2000

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— Families of four people shot to death last week in a Wichita house watched tearfully Monday as two men charged in connection with their deaths made their first court appearances.

Some family members broke down crying as Cornelius Devon Oliver was led shackled before Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Jones. Oliver, 18, was formally charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of capital murder. The judge set his bond at $4 million.

Dist. Atty. Nola Foulston said she has not decided whether to seek the death penalty, but the charges were filed as capital murder because they were appropriate for the nature of the crimes.

Also charged Monday in connection with the case was Troy L. Bell, 32. He was charged with one count of aiding a felony for allegedly helping Oliver avoid arrest on Friday. His bond was set at $50,000.

Preliminary hearings for both men were set for Dec. 26.

Raeshawnda Wheaton, 18; Quincy Williams, 17; Odessa Laquita Ford, 17; and Jermaine Levy, 20; were found dead Thursday morning when a friend went to the house. Williams and Ford were cousins. Ford was renting the house.

Among the family members who filled the first row seats in the courtroom was Levy's mother, Beverly Robinson.

The family was split on whether prosecutors should seek the death penalty.

Robinson said her son was at the house to visit his girlfriend, Ford. She said she did not want to see anyone dead but she wanted to beat Oliver "within an inch of his life."

"He took my son from me for no reason," she sobbed.

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