Murder charge follows beating

Boyfriend has history of abuse against girlfriend

A Lawrence man with a history of domestic violence charges and alcohol abuse has been charged with fatally beating his 37-year-old girlfriend at a local trailer park.

Christopher Belone, 35, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder in the death of Linda Begay, his girlfriend of six years. Begay was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital after being beaten Saturday afternoon at Gaslight Village, 1900 W. 31st St., police said. She died Tuesday at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka.

Begay’s kindergarten-age son has been taken into protective custody.

Lawrence Police said they were called to Gaslight Village shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday after Begay went to an acquaintance’s trailer, drank alcohol, went to sleep and awoke to Belone beating her and dragging her out of bed. He beat her with a stick and dragged her to a car, but she was able to escape and call for help, police said.

Police arrested Belone later in the day Saturday after finding him involved in an unrelated altercation in the 200 block of West 10th Street.

In addition to murder, he’s charged with kidnapping and obstruction. The kidnapping charge stems from him allegedly pulling Begay into the car during the beating.

Christopher Belone is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girl-friend, Linda Begay.

Belone is a manual laborer who has previously worked at a forklift service and at Amarr Garage Door Group. At the time of Saturday’s incident, he was under an order not to have contact with Begay because of a June 24 incident in which he was charged with battering her and another man.

He was convicted of making a criminal threat for a case in 2004, in which he was kicked out of the Phoggy Dog bar near 21st and Iowa streets and threatened to come back and kill people with an AK-47.

According to a police report, an officer at the scene heard him say, “I’m coming back tomorrow, and you guys are going to pay.”

In June 2003, he was charged with aggravated battery against Begay, but the charge was dismissed for lack of probable cause. He was convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer for the same incident and ordered to probation.

In November 2001, according to a police report, a man suffered “multiple facial injuries and lacerations” after being beaten and kicked by Belone, who was upset because the man had contact with his girlfriend – apparently Begay, who was listed as a witness in the case. Belone was charged with aggravated battery, but the charges were reduced to simple battery as part of a plea agreement. He also was charged with domestic battery against Begay around the same time, but that charge was dismissed.

Linda Begay died Tuesday at a Topeka hospital after being beaten Saturday at a Lawrence trailer park.

Belone also has a 1996 conviction in New Mexico for aggravated DUI. He previously has been ordered to undergo anger-management therapy and substance-abuse treatment.

“He reports the majority of his criminal history stems from continued alcohol abuse,” a probation officer wrote in his court file.

Belone was being housed in Douglas County Jail on Wednesday with bond set at $60,000, but that likely will increase as a result of the added murder charge.

Dist. Atty. Charles Branson and Police Chief Ron Olin announced the charges against Belone during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The killing is the second so far this year in the Lawrence city limits and the third total for Douglas County. In 2005, there were five homicides in Lawrence and six total in Douglas County.