Archive for Friday, June 14, 2002

State briefs

June 14, 2002

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WaKeeney

Alcohol suspected in drowning accident

Authorities were trying to determine who was driving a sport utility vehicle filled with children that went off a boat ramp and into the Cedar Bluff Reservoir near WaKeeney in western Kansas.

Three-year-old Seth Contreras of Bison drowned in the accident. Six other children in the vehicle were rescued.

Alcohol containers were found floating in the water, and authorities suspect alcohol was involved in the accident.

Contreras' mother, Teresa Owen, 27, told authorities she was driving. But Trego County Sheriff Curt Bender suspects Owen might be trying to protect Robert Bruce, 26, whom Owen reported was riding in the vehicle's front seat. Bruce's driver's license is suspended.

Parsons

Swimmer drowns in lake

A Kansas City, Kan., man drowned Wednesday at Big Hill Lake near Parsons.

Witnesses told authorities that Darnell James, 25, was swimming when he had some kind of difficulty and went under water. The Labette County Sheriff's Department was called at 5:15 p.m., and James' body was pulled from the water around 6:30 p.m.

James' death was the third drowning in Kansas in the past five days. On Saturday, Bradley Tompkins, 42, of Cherokee drowned at Elk City Lake after trying to swim from a boat ramp to a dock. And Tuesday, a 3-year-old boy drowned when the vehicle he was riding in went off a boat ramp and was submerged at Cedar Bluff Reservoir near WaKeeney.

Kansas City, Kan.

Mother gets 10 years for murder of her son

A Kansas City, Kan., woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the death of her 4-year-old son.

Charlotte Thompson, 33, had pleaded no-contest to unintentional second-degree murder in the death of Deshawn Thompson. Prosecutors alleged that Thompson severely beat Deshawn, then held his face in a pillow until he suffocated.

"What you did to your son was brutal," Wyandotte County District Judge Ernest Johnson told Thompson.

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