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Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2007

Witness: Suspect in killing was at school

May 31, 2007

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— A man accused of kidnapping and killing a Cowley County Community College student was parked outside the school's auditorium on the day she disappeared, another student testified Wednesday.

Lori Legleiter, a member of the college's dance team, testified at a preliminary hearing that Justin Thurber, 24, was sitting in a blue Cadillac in the auditorium's parking lot when she arrived there Jan. 5 for practice.

The victim, Jodi Sanderholm, was also a member of the dance team. Thurber is accused of abducting her, forcing her to have sex and then beating and strangling her.

The preliminary hearing will determine whether Thurber will stand trial. He is charged with capital murder, aggravated kidnapping, rape and aggravated criminal sodomy.

Thurber has not entered a plea. He remains jailed on $1 million bond.

Sanderholm, 19, of Arkansas City, was last seen Jan. 5 at a Subway restaurant. Her car was found in a lake Jan. 9, and her body was discovered about eight miles away.

Prosecutors, led by Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison, said they expected the preliminary hearing to last through Friday.

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