Archive for Tuesday, September 28, 2004


September 28, 2004



Former school custodian convicted in '74 slaying

A Johnson County jury on Monday convicted a man of killing a 13-year-old girl 30 years ago as she walked home from a swimming pool.

John Henry Horton, 57, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the July 1974 death of Lizabeth Wilson, who was last seen crossing a parking lot at Shawnee Mission East High School, where Horton worked as a custodian. Her remains were found six months later in a Lenexa field.

Horton was arrested last year in eastern Missouri after Prairie Village detectives and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation reopened the case.

Horton had been a suspect in the case 30 years ago, but he wasn't charged until October 2003. In 1974, investigators had collected hairs from Horton's trunk and an audiovisual room in the school and compared them with hairs from Wilson's home. An FBI analyst said the hairs were very similar or identical, but couldn't say if they were from the same person.


Former student gets probation for beating

A former Fort Hays State University student was sentenced Monday to two years probation for his role in a series of fights that led to the death of another student.

Jaime R. Lopez III, 24, of Chula Vista, Calif., was one of four people charged in the Nov. 13, 2003, beating death of Clint W. Johnson, 18, of Healy.

An Ellis County jury found him not guilty on Sept. 17 of second-degree murder, but convicted him of one count of aggravated battery and two misdemeanor counts of intimidation of witnesses.

On Monday, he was given two years probation on the aggravated battery count and six months on each of the intimidation of witness convictions. If Lopez violates his probation, he will serve a year in prison, said Ellis County Atty. Tom Drees.

Johnson died after being beaten with a baseball bat in a series of fights between two groups of men at an apartment complex north of the university campus.

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