Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Murder case reopens after 20-plus years

February 14, 2006

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— A former student body president of MidAmerica Nazarene University pleaded guilty Monday to intentional second-degree murder for helping the school's former secretary kill her husband nearly 24 years ago.

Prosecutors said Mark Mangelsdorf, now 45 and living in suburban New York City, was having a romantic relationship with Melinda Raisch.

They claimed he and Raisch conspired to kill David Harmon because their church, the Nazarene Church, did not condone divorce.

Harmon was 25 on Feb. 28, 1982, when he was beaten to death in the home he shared with his wife in Olathe.

Raisch was convicted in May 2005 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for her role in the killing.

Mangelsdorf testified at Raisch's trial that he was a friend of the couple and denied any romantic relationship with the defendant.

In court Monday, Johnson County Dist. Atty. Paul Morrison said the plot to kill Harmon was Mangelsdorf's idea and that Mangelsdorf killed Harmon with a crowbar.

Raisch and Mangelsdorf were interviewed after the killing, but authorities said they had lacked evidence to bring charges.

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