Archive for Thursday, May 12, 2005

Local briefs

May 12, 2005


Saturday CBS show to feature Murray trial

The case of the Kansas State University professor who murdered his ex-wife in 2003 rural Douglas County will go before a national television audience Saturday night.

A spokeswoman for the CBS show "48 Hours Mystery" said the show would focus on Thomas E. Murray, who was convicted earlier this year of stabbing and beating to death Carmin D. Ross. Murray was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

The show will air at 9 p.m. on Sunflower Broadband Channels 5 and 13.

A CBS film crew covered Murray's trial in Douglas County District Court as did correspondent Richard Schlesinger.


Warmer weather spurs West Nile warning

As the weather gets warmer, Kansans are reminded to take precautions against the West Nile virus.

"We are certain that West Nile virus will be back in Kansas in 2005," said Howard Rodenberg, health director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Last year in Kansas, there were nine confirmed West Nile cases and 37 probable cases reported to KDHE. Two people died in Kansas as a result of West Nile virus. Douglas County had no cases last year.

West Nile virus is most often transmitted to humans when a mosquito bites an infected bird and then bites a human.

To avoid the virus, KDHE suggests that Kansans use insect repellent with DEET; wear protective clothing when practical; remove standing water; and limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.


KU student charged with rape, kidnapping

A 25-year-old Kansas University student was formally charged Wednesday with raping an acquaintance, threatening her with a knife and refusing to let her leave his home.

At his first court appearance Wednesday, he told a judge he needed to get out of jail because he was about to graduate.

The incident happened early Tuesday at the man's home in the 800 block of Fieldstone Drive. Police said a neighbor heard the woman's cries for help and called police about 5 a.m.

Police allege that after raping the woman the suspect stole her cell phone and held her in a bedroom at knifepoint.

The man told Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel he had enough money to hire an attorney. She set his bond at $100,000 and scheduled his next court appearance for Tuesday. He remained in jail Wednesday night.

He's charged with rape, kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and aggravated intimidation of a victim.

The Journal-World generally does not identify suspects in sex crimes unless they are convicted.

Police investigate link to Topeka pizza heists

Police are looking into whether a group of men charged with holding up a pizza shop in Lawrence earlier this week have pulled similar heists in Topeka.

There have been two unsolved robberies in recent weeks at Pizza Hut restaurants in Topeka, said Kristi Pankratz, a Topeka Police spokeswoman.

She said the department was aware of the arrest of four Topekans in the Monday robbery of Wheat State Pizza, 711 W. 23rd St. But she stopped short of calling them suspects.

"We have been in contact with the Lawrence Police Department and that is one avenue we are pursuing," Pankratz said.

Douglas County Dist. Atty. Charles Branson on Wednesday filed formal robbery charges against Stephen E. Lundy, 23, Johnnie McCall, 20, and David P. Wigfall, 19, all of Topeka, in connection with the Wheat State robbery. A juvenile also was arrested in the case.

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