Archive for Friday, December 29, 2006

Prosecutors say shooting was conspiracy to murder witness

December 29, 2006

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— Four people conspired to kill a witness in a Lawrence aggravated-battery case just hours before he was scheduled to testify, Franklin County prosecutors alleged Thursday.

"I don't think this was a coincidence," County Attorney Heather Jones said.

Three of the four suspects were charged Thursday, 10 days after police found Ottawa resident Michael Miller in the middle of the street outside his home with gunshot wounds. Miller is stable and recuperating at an undisclosed hospital.

Prosecutors charged Lawrence residents Lisa K. Winter, Kay F. Gaillard-Taylor and Jeffrey A. Campbell on counts of attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

According to the charges, the three defendants and another person who has not been charged or arrested drove to Miller's house in Ottawa, lured him from his home with a handgun and shot him.

Prosecutors wouldn't say who they thought fired the weapon. However, the charges name Campbell, Gaillard-Taylor and the fourth suspect as the only people in the car at the time of the shooting.

Campbell, 29, is on probation for attempted battery against a correctional officer while he was incarcerated in 2004, state records show.

He also has been convicted of aggravated battery, aggravated arson and attempted theft, records show. He was released from Douglas County Jail in September.

The three defendants are scheduled to make a first appearance in court Wednesday, Jones said.

The investigation so far has spanned three police departments - Lawrence, Ottawa and Overland Park - and involved interviews with dozens of witnesses, family members and employees of several local businesses, records show.

Although the county has not filed charges against the fourth person allegedly involved in the shooting, Jones said her office continues to review the case and could file more charges.

Miller was shot Dec. 19, the night before he was scheduled to testify against Lawrence resident Louis G. Galloway, 43, in Galloway's aggravated battery trial.

Galloway was charged with battering Miller last year in an alleged home burglary at Miller's former home in Lawrence.

Jones said Franklin County did everything it could to protect witnesses before trials, but defendants often have access to witnesses' names and addresses during the legal process.

"There's some of that we can't control, by law," Jones said.

Comments

jafs 8 years, 7 months ago

Although I agree dangerous people should be kept off of the streets, keeping them in jail longer and then letting them out isn't much better than letting them out earlier.

Our system needs a fundamental shift in thinking - from punishment to prevention/rehabilitation/keeping the streets safe.

50YearResident 8 years, 7 months ago

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I have an idea, why don't we buy a million dollar living facility for them! Maybe that will keep them off the streets......

Bob Forer 8 years, 7 months ago

The correctional system will be the first to admit that Kansas has long ago abandoned its traditional penal philsophy of "rehabilitation." Kansas once had one of the more progressive Department of Corrections in the country, but around 15 years ago, following a nationwide trend, abandoned any pretense of rehabiliation, which is a shame. However, the people charged in this case walk and talk like your garden variety sociopath, and are thus not amenable to postive intervention. Therefore, I say lock em up for a long time, for all of our protection.

bogus 8 years, 7 months ago

This is what happens when you are raised by the system! What do you think happens when you're in prison...when you go in at 17 a criminal you sure in the hell are going to come out one!!! Prison in not by any means rehabilitating.

bogus 8 years, 7 months ago

Oh yeah....the homeless man they are talking about, he was not homeless, he had an address and a family. That just goes to show how much investigating is going on.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 7 months ago

The Ottawa police do everything they can to protect witnesses?

Really? Since when?

I once had an ex who I had to call them about, and he was charged with battery and criminal damage to property. Since I was a witness, I received a subpoena.

Did I receive any protection from the police, even though this wasn't his first arrest for the same thing? Even though they knew he'd been violent with me before? Nope.

Matter of fact, when I voiced concerns about my safety, I was told they could do nothing unless he actually did something to me first.

Granted, in this case the thought may not have occurred to them that anyone would try to kill a witness. But even if the witness had asked for protection from the police, chances are they would have told him the same thing they told me.

Maybe from now on, the Ottawa police will think about the safety of witnesses.

jonas 8 years, 7 months ago

P"osted by jafs (anonymous) on December 29, 2006 at 9:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Our system needs a fundamental shift in thinking - from punishment to prevention/rehabilitation/keeping the streets safe."

Isn't "both," an option?

Bob Forer 8 years, 7 months ago

Unless its a big-time prosection involving a defendant who has a history of intimidating witnesses (e.g., maifia types) police protection of witnesses outside of the Federal Witness Protection program is a fiction seen only in Hollywood movies. I am sure the police never gave the possibilty of a "hit" against the witness a first thought, which was certainly not malfeasant absent specific evidence indicating that possibility. Nonethless, even if the victim had asked for protection, there is little the police could have done. The state systems simply don't have resources allocated or available to provide the type of protection afforded witnesses in federal prosecutions pursuant to the Witness Protection Program.

cyberia 8 years, 7 months ago

Marion: What evidence do you present to support your assertion that the victim was a crackhead? He was a victim of a burglary/assault, and he was going to testify against the defendant at trial.

Ron Knox: How do you lure someone out of their house with a handgun????????

Bob Forer 8 years, 7 months ago

Ron Knox: How do you lure someone out of their house with a handgun????????

You make them a offer they can't refuse.

Lure was probably a poor choice of words. I think they may have meant "forced out of his home by gunpoint."

John Spencer 8 years, 7 months ago

They used a stick and string to hang the handgun in front of the door, rang the doorbell and he was overpowered by the lure of the handgun, like a deer in the headlights. Then they just slowly walked to the street and he followed them in a zombie-like state, then POP POP POP POP POP.

Woodduck_5363 8 years, 7 months ago

I feel that we as a people are tired of this killing and just downright out of control people on whatever drug of choice. They deserve to sow what they reap. Buy tem a island and take them out of the prisons and put them there, where all of their kind can kill each other. Or better yet send them over to fight in Iraq. Maybe they can do some drive byes on camels.

james bush 8 years, 7 months ago

We seem to have instituted a system which pities the criminal at the expense of the welbeing of society and the criminals' victims. Even when murderers are sentenced to 2 life terms plus 19 years for having raped the victim before killing her, the killer is "entitled??" to seek parole. The victims relatives and aging parents must endure reliving the horrid crime each time this pity(ful) system offers the killer another chance for parole. Case in point: The killer of the Kstate student park ranger who was killed in 1974 wasn't released recently after the 7th parole hearing but gets another chance in 2009. Epluribusunum!

The justice system is broken! How the hell did this happen?!

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 7 months ago

Yo, Woody. The Engish tried that idea already. The island is now its own nation: Australia. I don't think I want criminals of today forming their own nation. the upside is they might give us a reason to nuke 'em.

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