Archive for Saturday, January 8, 2005

Local briefs

January 8, 2005


Father who killed son considers plea bargain

The Missouri man charged with trying to kill his three children in a southwest Lawrence car crash after he stabbed another child and left him to die on the Kansas Turnpike is considering a plea.

Raymond D. Boothe, 36, has a plea hearing scheduled for Friday in Douglas County District Court, court records show.

Boothe is charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count of battery on a law enforcement officer in connection with an Aug. 27, 2002, car crash at 27th Street and Lawrence Avenue. Prosecutors allege it was an attempt to kill himself and his three children.

Earlier that evening, Boothe, who has a history of mental illness, had stabbed his developmentally disabled 11-year-old son, Levi, and left him to die on the turnpike.

Boothe was convicted of murder in Leavenworth County in Levi's death and is serving a 16-year prison sentence.

In August, Douglas County Dist. Atty. Christine Kenney's office decided to seek additional prison time for Boothe by filing the attempted-murder charges.


BB vandalism draws jail time, probation

A judge ordered a year of intensive probation and a 60-day jail sentence this week for a Lawrence man convicted in a November 2003 citywide BB gun vandalism spree.

Jeremy W. Wilson, 22, originally was charged with more than 30 counts of criminal damage after motorists across the city reported having their car windows shattered. Some cars also were burglarized.

Prosecutors eventually dropped most of the charges against Wilson as part of a plea agreement.

Wilson was on probation at the time of the spree. On Thursday Judge Michael Malone ordered him to spend 60 days in jail for violating probation and sentenced him to one year of community corrections for the vandalism.

Malone also ordered Wilson to write letters of apology to the victims and complete an anger-management course.

Collections not affected in Spencer Library fire

A small fire broke out Friday afternoon on the third floor of Kansas University's Spencer Research Library.

Bill Crowe, director of the library, said the fire started in a faulty light fixture in a room that housed copy machines. The incident ended quickly without injury or damage to the library's collections, which include rare books and manuscripts as well as volumes on regional and university history. A member of the library staff put the flames out with a fire extinguisher.

A Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical crew came shortly after the fire was extinguished.

Prosecutor: Suspect used money for car, trips

A woman accused of scamming a retired Lawrence judge and his wife for more than $115,000 used the money for car payments and a California vacation, a prosecutor alleged Friday.

In one instance, Jolene J. Harrell disguised a $5,000 check written to herself from the Rankins' account with a $75 entry in their checkbook ledger, Assistant Atty. Gen. Rex Beasley said.

The Attorney General's Office is prosecuting because the case involves alleged Medicare fraud.

Harrell was arrested Thursday after an investigation that started last summer. She's charged with stealing from Charles and Polly Rankin between April 2003 and June 2004. The couple had hired her to help manage their finances.

Bond had been $50,000, but Judge Robert Fairchild reduced it to $5,000 cash or $25,000 if a bonding company was used.

BR549's Opry show to be broadcast online

BR549, a country-and-western band that features Lawrence native Chuck Mead on guitar and vocals and former Lawrence resident Shaw Wilson on drums and vocals, will perform between 7 and 7:30 tonight on the Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn.

Though the evening's performance will not be televised, it will be broadcast live on, starting at 6:30 p.m.

BR549's appearance coincides with the Nashville Tennessean newspaper naming the band's latest CD, "Tangled in the Pines," one of the year's not-so-commercial best. The newspaper's reviewer likened the band's "brash and tough" sound with the strut of a "drunked-up linebacker out on the town, a few hours after a big homecoming victory."

Right Between the Ears to give 'Year In Review'

Kansas Public Radio's award-winning comedy series will take a look back at the events of 2004 with a special Right Between the Ears program at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. today.

The 8 p.m. show will be broadcast live on KPR stations, online at and nationwide on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The show will include the election, President Clinton's autobiography, Martha Stewart and spoofs of "The Apprentice" and "Jeopardy."

Tickets for the Year In Review show are on sale at the Liberty Hall box office and at

Three teens arrested in Holcom Park shooting

Three Lawrence teens were arrested Friday in connection with the shooting last week at Holcom Park that sent a 17-year-old from Topeka to the hospital with a bullet in his leg.

Police brought the three teens in for questioning, and then placed them under arrest at the end of their interviews late Friday afternoon. A 17-year-old boy is suspected of firing the gun in the incident. He has been charged with attempted second-degree murder.

The other two teens, a 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old woman, were both charged with aiding a felon.

The two minors were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. The 18-year-old woman was booked into Douglas County Jail.

Police said their investigation had identified other individuals in the case and that other arrests were possible.

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