Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2007

Fourth defendant convicted in slaying of lobbyist for homeless

July 15, 2007

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— The fourth and final defendant in the death of a self-described lobbyist for the homeless was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder.

Jurors deliberated about five hours Friday before convicting Charles Hollingsworth III in the death of David Owen.

Owen disappeared in June 2006. His body was found the next month.

Prosecutors said the four defendants tied Owen to a tree, where he eventually suffocated, because he would not leave their homeless camp along the Kansas River. Owen was known for giving homeless people telephone calling cards and urging them to call home, and his detractors said he was often pushy with his efforts.

An attorney for Hollingsworth, 19, argued that he had gone repeatedly to check on Owen after carrying him out of the camp and tying him up.

"It doesn't look like any intent to kill to me," said the attorney, Kelly Connor-Wilson.

She also tried to discredit Owen's motive for being at the homeless camp, reminding jurors during closing arguments that Owen was a registered sex offender.

Owen had been registered since 1999, when he was sentenced to four days in jail and 36 months of probation in Sedgwick County on one count of sexual exploitation of a child.

But Deputy District Attorney David Debenham told jurors that Hollingsworth showed no remorse and should be convicted.

Prosecutors also showed jurors videotapes of Hollingsworth's confession to police and his re-enactment of the killing.

Two other defendants, 61-year-old Carl Baker and 28-year-old Kimberly Sharp, were convicted in separate trials of first-degree murder and kidnapping. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

Johnny Cornell, 36, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to kidnapping and a reduced sentence of reckless involuntary manslaughter.

Comments

Ragingbear 7 years, 9 months ago

~~he was sentenced to four days in jail and 36 months of probation~~

Sad that we have to use the homeless to carry out the necessary sentence because the courts are too cowardly to do so.

Sigmund 7 years, 9 months ago

A registered sex offender and self-described lobbyist for the homeless, David Owen, was killed by the homeless. I shall forever believe in Karma. Can anyone doubt that the world would be a better place if all lobbyist met a similar fate? Hopefully, Kansas has started a trend that will spread to Washington, DC and eventually nationwide.

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