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Archive for Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Death sentence given for couple’s murder

August 29, 2006

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— A Lyons man was sentenced Monday to death by lethal injection for helping to kill a Great Bend couple because he feared one of the victims might tell police about a previous crime.

District Judge Hannelore Kitts pronounced Sidney Gleason's sentence after denying a motion made by Gleason's attorneys to dismiss the case and a motion for a new trial.

Gleason, 27, was convicted of shooting Miki Martinez, 19, and her boyfriend, Darren Wornkey, 24, on Feb. 21, 2004. He was convicted of capital murder, first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and criminal possession of a firearm. The jury recommended the death penalty during the sentencing phase.

Gleason and his cousin, Damian Thompson, 27, kidnapped and killed Martinez because they feared she might tell police about a previous crime - the stabbing and robbery of 76-year-old Paul Elliott in Great Bend. Gleason and Thompson killed Wornkey as they kidnapped Martinez.

Thompson previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Martinez's death and is serving a life sentence. He will be eligible for parole in 2029.

Gleason had previously pleaded no contest to attempted involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of his mother's ex-boyfriend. He also was acquitted in February 2000 of premeditated first-degree murder in the shooting death of one man and the wounding of another in Topeka in June 1999.

He is the ninth person to be sentenced to die under the 1994 death penalty law, which was upheld earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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