Archive for Thursday, September 27, 2007

Three charged with 2005 slaying in Bonner Springs

September 27, 2007


Three people charged in connection with 2005 murder

Nearly two years after her murder, three young people have been charged in to the death of a Tonganoxie woman found dead in November, 2005, inside a Bonner Springs Dollar General Store. Enlarge video

Twenty-two months after Robin Bell's brutal murder at a Dollar General store in Bonner Springs, three people have been charged in her death.

John Backus, 20, Bonner Springs, Robert Haberlein, 19, Kansas City, Kan., and Amber Russell, 17, Lenexa, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery in connection with Bell's murder.

Bell, a Tonganoxie resident, was found dead Nov. 12, 2005, inside the store where she was a manager.

Backus, the only suspect who was not a minor at the time of the crime, is in Wyandotte County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond. Detention hearings for Haberlein and Russell are scheduled today.

After announcing the charges Wednesday, authorities said they couldn't comment on the evidence against them.

"Suffice it to say, I believe we have sufficient evidence to file charges against all three," said Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman.

He and Bonner Springs Police Chief John Haley said a break in the case came Friday night in an investigation into an unrelated crime.

Gorman said there was no indication the suspects had a connection to Dollar General or Robin Bell before the murder. The suspects, however, do know one another.

Gorman said no decision has been made on whether to charge Haberlein or Russell as adults.

Bell's husband, Don Bell, said he had just recently told family members that he had given up that his wife's killers would be caught.

On Wednesday, Bell, who lives in Edwardsville, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of his wife that read "you can take us from her but you can't take her from us."

Don Bell and other family members had worked to bolster a reward fund for information about Robin Bell's death. It's not known if anyone would qualify for the reward, which now amounts to more than $16,000. If it's not successfully claimed, the money would go to a foundation or the TIPS hot line, according to Melissa Mathia, Robin Bell's daughter.

- Jesse Truesdale, Bonner Springs Chieftain reporter, can be reached at (913) 422-2169.


Confrontation 10 years, 7 months ago

These punks should be charged as adults. I'm betting their parents are nice pieces of work, as well. Throw them all in the slammer.

lmpaul 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm really interested how the unrelated crime brought forth evidence to indicate these three were involved in Bell's death. And is their activity related to other unsolved cases? In-ter-es-ting, verry in-ter-est-ing.

millertyme1976 10 years, 7 months ago

One of the convicted murderers is my cousin. He didnt go around braggin about doing things with little girls. My family is very distraught over this situation. Right now the media is draggin John through the mud. In my mind I dont believe he could kill someone. He was a very troubled youth, when he was adopted by my aunt and uncle he was abused, very abused before being adopted. His parents are the greatest. His father was my father figure when mine passed away in 87. His father is a well decorated Kansas Highway Patrolman on the force for over 30 years. So dont say his parents are bad. Just makes me sick!!!

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