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Archive for Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Killer of elderly woman up for parole

March 7, 2007

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After 23 years, convict up for parole

A Lawrence man convicted in the 1984 rape and murder of an elderly woman will soon be up for parole. Enlarge video

The murder of Marguerite Vinyard on Aug. 4, 1984, shook Lawrence.

Former Douglas County District Attorney Jerry Harper said the case had residents on edge for weeks - from the time investigators found the body of the 80-year-old woman in her home at 2100 Tenn. until they arrested her 18-year-old neighbor, Donald E. Alexander.

Vinyard's murder and other homicide cases around that time interrupted several peaceful years in Douglas County.

"This was just a direct assault on that," said Harper, who still maintains a private law practice in Lawrence.

In early 1985, Alexander was convicted of raping and beating Vinyard to death during a burglary. During his trial, jurors heard about his confessions to police and other physical evidence found inside Vinyard's home.

After 22 years in prison, Alexander, now 41, is up for consideration of parole during an April hearing. He also was up for consideration in 2002.

District Court Judge Michael Malone had sentenced Alexander to serve a life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction and consecutively serve 15 years to life for the rape conviction. Alexander was to concurrently serve five to 20 years for the burglary. He now is an inmate at the Wichita Work Release Center.

Because parole board members consider a range of issues in a case, including a convict's prison behavior, Harper said he typically does not get involved in hearings of those arrested or convicted of serious crimes during his time as district attorney. He has written letters before to parole boards in other cases when victims' family members have asked, he said.

Another inmate, Kevin Bryant McFarlane, 41, who was convicted for a 1989 robbery in Douglas County and several other crimes in Wyandotte and Johnson counties, also is eligible for a parole hearing.





Making comments

The Kansas Parole Board will hear public comment on anyone being considered for parole. Public meetings will be:¢ 8:30 a.m. March 23, Topeka, Landon State Office Building, first floor, Room 106A, 900 SW Jackson St.¢ 10 a.m. to noon March 26, Kansas City, Kan., City Hall, 701 N. Seventh St.¢ 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29, Wichita, Finney State Office Building, third floor, Room 3080, 230 William St.¢ Written comments can be mailed to the board at Landon State Office Building, Room 452 S, Topeka 66612-1220.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

How come you skipped over this part, consumer1?

"District Court Judge Michael Malone had sentenced Alexander to serve a life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction and consecutively serve 15 years to life for the rape conviction."

He will not be paroled.

redfred 7 years, 9 months ago

Bozo - Wanta bet. If he is in work release the next step is out the door.

Bone777 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember this case like it was yesterday. She lived at the corner of 21st and Tennessee and he lived in the house next door to the east.

What a sad deal to have your grandma's neighbor come into her house and beat and rape her, before killing her.

Terrible, terrible way to go...

jonas 7 years, 9 months ago

Wow, Con1. Looks like you've abandoned making logical points for the morning, huh? Good, good.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 9 months ago

I can see how a burglary can (with some panic) lead to murder.

I can see how a rape can (with some panic) lead to murder.

But how did a burglary lead to RAPE? "You caught me, so I think I'll kill you to avoid leaving any witnessess... but, while I'm at it, I think I'll take a few minutes to RAPE A WOMAN WHO'S OLD ENOUGH TO BE MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER."

That's the part that I REALLY don't understand.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 9 months ago

I'm trying to avoid being too judgmental about this guy's "mistake"; but my "creepy meter" is peaking on this one.

sourpuss 7 years, 9 months ago

You HAVE to release the rapists and murderers so you can make room for the recreational drug users. Geez, you people have your priorities messed up! Someone could be SMOKING POT out there. Shudder.

monkeywrench1969 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember this one from my days at KU. That does not seem like that long ago. Seems strange personally that time can pass that quickly.

Grundoon Luna 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, OldEnough, I remember when that happened and had a hard time with the rape factor. But rape is not about sex - it's about domination and control.

This guy should not get out.

Good point, Sourpuss. We gots to keep them evil rope smokers locked up becuase they are so-o-o-o much more dangerous than rapists and murders.

Centrist 7 years, 9 months ago

He's only 41 now. That means he's probably MORE dangerous than when he went into the can.

Imagine the awful horror that poor lady went though being first surprised, then attacked and raped - then imagine being struck repeatedly and enduring terrible pain - until you couldn't take it any more - and he keeps going.

No way - this guy should EVER be released.

Bassetlover 7 years, 9 months ago

Looks like the current owners have really fixed up the exterior nicely. Wonder if they know what transpired there so many years ago? There is something eerie about buying/renting a home where such violence occurrred. Would make you tempted to hire an exorcist or a priest/minister to do some type of "cleansing" on the inside. We can only hope her poor soul rose into heaven at the moment the assault began. RIP!

lonelyboy 7 years, 9 months ago

Somebody better run him through KASPER he has been written up during his time for lewd acts and dangerous contraband... check him out. I also went to school with him years ago still looks like a dangerous person to me . But then again he only picks on 80 year old women.

midwestmom 7 years, 9 months ago

If you are opposed to his release, write a letter. The article included information about how/where to address it. Be clear that our community hasn't forgotten his horiffic crime and that you are OPPOSED to his release.

lonelyboy 7 years, 9 months ago

Just this year for dangerous contraband on his work release program in Wichita. I'd say he has been rehabed.

acg 7 years, 9 months ago

I agree with u Blue. I was thinking that this guy has a lead deficiency, in that he needs some in his head.

lunacydetector 7 years, 9 months ago

i vaguely remember this case. i think i read he used a miniature baseball bat in the crime, or someone told me he did. how could someone have so much rage against an old lady let alone anyone?

if he stole a million dollars in an armed robbery he probably wouldn't be up for parole yet.

leadrain 7 years, 9 months ago

AM I WRONG? OR IS " OUT OF FACILITY " WORK RELEASE EVEN ALLOWED? I KNOW THAT YOU CAN GET "OUTSIDE" WHILE YOUR IN COUNTY JAIL, BUT I'M PRETTY SURE THEY DON'T LET YOU OUT TO RUN AMUCK ABOUT SOCIETY IF YOU'VE BEEN PUT INTO A ACTUALL "PRISON" NO MATTER WHAT YOU'VE BEEN CONVICTED OF. SO EASE YOUR MINDS AND HEARTS, AMERICA. I THINK HE'LL NOT BE AT ANY OCTAGENARIAN PATRIES IN THE COMING FUTURE.

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