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Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Suspect pleads guilty in home-invasion death

June 27, 2007

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— A man charged in the home-invasion death of an 86-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to reduced charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony burglary.

John Gaston, 23, of Joplin, Mo., was charged in the death of Dorothy Daniels of rural Cherokee County.

The pleas were filed Monday following an agreement between Gaston's lawyer and Cherokee County Attorney Michael Goodrich.

Gaston and another man were accused of posing as handymen on Dec. 1, 2005, to get into Daniels' home. After they left, she drove to a neighbor's house to call for help because they had ripped the telephone cord out of the wall.

While meeting with investigators after returning to her home, she began having what the officers thought was a heart attack. The officers performed CPR and revived her, but she died later at a Pittsburg hospital.

A pathologist testified that Daniels died of a burst blood vessel likely caused by a sudden increase in blood pressure.

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