Archive for Saturday, July 5, 2008

Suspect in KU student’s death commits suicide while in New Jersey police custody

Friends and family of a Lawrence murder victim hope to keep her memory alive. On Wednesday, friends and family gathered for a celebration of life to remember Jana Mackey.

July 5, 2008, 1:59 p.m. Updated July 5, 2008, 4:31 p.m.


Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, 5&squot;08", 150 lbs. (Date of photo: 2006)

Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, 5'08", 150 lbs. (Date of photo: 2006)

The suspect in the death of a 25-year-old Kansas University student has committed suicide while in police custody in New Jersey, according to Lawrence police.

Adolfo Garcia-Nunez, 46, was arrested Friday night in New Jersey, according to Lawrence Police Sgt. Paul Fellers. Fellers said in a news release Saturday afternoon that Garcia-Nunez committed suicide in custody.

Lawrence police traveled to Elizabeth, N.J., where Garcia-Nunez's white Ford F-150 pickup was located unoccupied. Lawrence police received word Saturday morning that Garcia-Nunez took his own life.

"No further information will be available until our investigators return from New Jersey," the release said.

Garcia-Nunez - a Lawrence artist who also went by the name Fito Garche - was suspected in the death of the student, Jana Lynne Mackey. Mackey was a second-year law student at KU from Hays.

Friday night, Lawrence police had issued an arrest warrant charging Garcia-Nunez with second-degree murder.

Mackey's body was found late Thursday night in a home at 409 Mich., where Garcia-Nunez lived. Mackey and Garcia-Nunez had recently broken off a relationship.

After hearing of the arrest and apparent suicide, KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway and Law School Dean Gail Agrawal issued the following statements.

"The resolution of this tragedy leaves us all stunned. I hope that everyone will remain considerate of the needs of the family and friends of Jana Mackey during this terrible time," Hemenway said. "I thank the Lawrence Police Department as well as other authorities for their efforts in the investigation."

Agrawal said the law school community continues to be grief-stricken by Mackey's death, and remains focused on getting through the tragedy together.

"While we are shocked at recent developments in the investigation, we remain focused on doing all we can to support her family and friends through this terrible time," Agrawal said. "We are making every effort to inform our students, faculty and staff of available counseling and emotional support. Jana was strongly committed to social justice, and in her memory, we hope to inspire others to share her cause."

According to police, about 4:30 p.m. Thursday one of Mackey's friends reported her missing. About two hours later, Mackey's vehicle was found in the parking lot of Lawrence Memorial Hospital. About 11:30 p.m. Thursday, her body was found inside Garcia-Nunez's home, which is near the hospital.


Fatty_McButterpants 9 years, 10 months ago

Bennyoates said: "What this Mackey murder case boils down to is that we coddle the homeless too much."I'm sorry, I miss the relevance of homeless people in our community, and how those people are treated while here, has anything to do with this murder. She was a law student. He was an artist. Neither one was homeless. Quit using any crime you can find to turn it into a rallying cry against the homeless.

Paula Kissinger 9 years, 10 months ago

Fabulous. This saves the city and county thousands of dollars in prosecution costs, saves the state millions of dollars in prison costs and justice is done !

Alison Roberts 9 years, 10 months ago

this is going to anger a lot of people... no justice for her family. Shouldnt they watch suspects more closely? GRR! How frustrating this must be for those wanting answers.

50YearResident 9 years, 10 months ago

Hey, If you believe in Hell, he will do his suffering there. How much worse could that be than life in jail? Justice is served.

esl03 9 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for the information LadyJ. I like to keep up with stories and understand what people are talking about.

LadyJ 9 years, 10 months ago

tellthetruth----------In the original blog links were posted to the LJW article saying he moved here to be near his then current girlfriend.

esl03 9 years, 10 months ago

What is the story about the little boy? I must be too young to have heard of it. Sorry to get off subject...

esl03 9 years, 10 months ago

Well there is an end to the story but we have no REAL answers to what happened- at least not yet if we can get them. I am praying for Jana's family.

LadyJ 9 years, 10 months ago

And I do remember the little boy, haven't forgotten, I lived right there and had seen him around. He tried to strike up a friendship with my sons but they knew enough to trust their instints and would have nothing to do with him. Also know that lack of parental supervision didn't help. He had actually become a friend of the family. If I remember it was two days before anyone checked where the kid was.

M_Partial_Partisan 9 years, 10 months ago

hairshoptalk-"this man had a history of violence and he obviously wasn't in his right mind. it is a tragedy what happen to Jana, but this is one less crazy person sitting in jail while we pay for him to live!" I agree. He was pretty much a waste of space and we didn't need him taking up air in the already overcrowded prisons, waiting for his parole. He was certainly not going to get the death penalty, and when he got out he probably would have killed someone else. So i think everything worked out great.

misslawrence 9 years, 10 months ago

The Topeka thing is getting realllllllllllllllllllllllly old............come up with some more or other!!!!!!!!!!

hairshoptalk 9 years, 10 months ago

this man had a history of violence and he obviously wasn't in his right mind. it is a tragedy what happen to Jana, but this is one less crazy person sitting in jail while we pay for him to live!

Steve Jacob 9 years, 10 months ago

A choice many have faced, life in jail or suicide. Sometimes, it's for selfish reasons, sometimes guilt. All that will happen is the LPD will make sure some NJ policemen are slapped on the wrist or fired, and that's it. RIP Miss Mackey.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

I wish there were some way to hold the KS parole board liable for Miss Macky's violent death! too often offenders are granted parole, and then reoffend. "reoffend," what a tiddy little term for such a horrible crime. okay, no conspiracy theorists that he was killed and it was made to look like suicide? you know, the lawrence chief of police, etc.? nice that there's no conspiracy nut ravings on here!
marion, I must disagree with you. yes he is dead, and yes I am opposed to our current endless appeals justice system. however, a well run trial might have answered some questions, and made public justice. that's supposed to be one of the purposes of our legal system. indeed, he won't abuse another woman again! and young ladies, be careful with a relationship with an older man...Garcia-nunez was about my age. some of my cohort go for younger women because of less-than-honorable motives!

LadyJ 9 years, 10 months ago

And I also seem to remember that he had previously murdered a boy in Texas.

Hilary Morton 9 years, 10 months ago

totell,I don't think Lawrence "invites" these people as you proposed. Dangerous, disturbed, violent people are everywhere, and this has nothing to do with homelessness, for those of you going there.Rest in peace, Jana.

iLikelawrence 9 years, 10 months ago

There was a dog at the house that was there Tuesday and I haven't seen it since.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

Take the link below, you'll find dozens of scholarly articles, and other google webfinds, illustrating how this "humanitarian" movement to release the mentally ill from institutions started 20 years before Reagan! Put away your biases, you are proven wrong Scott%%%%. This is also what my profs taught in undergrad/grad school. one of them:"With the "deinstitutionalization" effort that began in the 1960s, hundreds of thousands of mentally ill men and women were released from state institutions.These people escaped grim conditions and sometimes brutal treatment. They largely did not, however, obtain proper care after their release. Rather thanreceiving continuing mental health treatment, thousands of mentally ill people were released to communities that had made little or no accommodation fortheir care.While states cut funding for mental hospitals, they have not made commensurate increases in their budgets for community-based mental health services. Chronicallyunderfunded, the country's mental health system does not reach anywhere near the number of people who need it today."--note, this also indites Clintonia, GHWB, Carter:in the failure to provide sufficient funds for states/communities to care for those deinstitutionalized. I will also add that frequently, deinstitutionalization caused many to be pushed out the door who couldn't be properly out of an institution, no matter how well funding was provided! So put it away Scott@@@@, you've just been fried.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 10 months ago

bennyoates:Hope you are not serious. The vast majority of these folks belong in institutions where they cannot do injury to others and themselves. Unfortunately, that doesn't fit with the political agendas of certain elements of our society & those institutions have been largely emptied over the last 20 years. We reap what we sow. Use the ballot thoughtfully this Fall!!

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

Multi:I think that's the wrong address.***oh, just to finish previous post:there's been no reference to Garcia-Nunez having any kind of mental health care history at all. obviously, while in the Pen, he needed advanced anger management work if he was going to be safe when released. did he get any? and, shouldn't we hold the parole board liable for this?

Alison Roberts 9 years, 10 months ago

Granted, I would rather see him dead than sitting in a cell the rest of his life, I just think that it will be hard for her family with no answers as to why.. etc... that was my point. :)

phoenixforce 9 years, 10 months ago

Does Lawrence lose its mind and kill people left and right every summer, or is this just a really strange year? I've never been around in the summer.

LadyJ 9 years, 10 months ago

Posted in the New Jersey newspaperPosted by jersey10006 on 07/06/08 at 7:39AMDear Kansas taxpayers,We just saved you all (youse in jersey speak) $25,000 a year in prison costs. Don't forget to send us a thank you card.

blondish 9 years, 10 months ago

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please contribute to:Jana Mackey Support for Public Advocacy Fundc/o Dean of LawGreen Hall1535 W. 15th St.Lawrence, KS 66045

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

scott####:your history is weak, it was liberal dogooders who had a humanitarian campaign to empty out the longterm mental hospitals, look back a few decades. they automatically assumed that the people in those facilities were being abused just because they were in there. then thorazine came along, and effectively made the fences taller around these facilities. that outraged some of the humanitarians more. so, was a man better off in a longterm facility, looked after, medicated, fed, cleaned, etc.. or, better dumped out on the street. and before you start to claim that being a conservative, i don't know what I'm talking about: I did volunteer work in a longterm facility in the early '80s, as some of this movement was taking hold. as a volunteer, i worked directly with schizophrenics (the largest number); dementia patients; and patients with other psychoses. we do need to return to having more state hospitals, and private hospitals, for the longterm mentally ill. *Garcia-nunez wasn't homeless! 'Tellthetruth' did you even read any of the articles...or was that something you thought unnecessary for your rant!?

FlintHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Multidisciplinary (Anonymous) says:Forgot.House-Google map at 424 S. Michigan.Truck included-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Multid, I think that's simply an AT&T truck, like the one parked on the street. Looks as if it has a logo on the door.fwiw

tellthetruth 9 years, 10 months ago

Anyone know how this scumbag made his way to Lawrence? Lawrence is very inviting to the underbelly of society. We have a reputation for treating the "transient" population very well, so many of these disturbed people flock to Lawrence. Most in this community are unaware that there are an estimated 300 homeless living along the river. Most in this community have also forgotten or are too young to know or remember the homeless man that lived under the bridge and befriended a young boy who he later killed, chopped up and used for fishbait. This town needs to wake up and take a look at who they are inviting into our community. With a population of 300+, many of whom are extremely disturbed and violent, it is only a matter before there is another tragedy in this town.

doc1 9 years, 10 months ago

Maybe somebody from Topeka went to New Jersey and killed him and then made it look like a suicide. Ok seriously though thats too bad he will never suffer. Suicide is too easy.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

I've been gently reminded I need to elaborate on that post that SM so graciously reposted:to hold the parole board liable: can we for example impeach them? can we apply some pressure on the Governor to change how they do business, since they obviously aren't considering our safety? and as to his getting mental health care, I was more responding to the above/homeless comments. I had thought that if a judge ordered anger management Garcia-nunez would've gotten it. maybe not. but, as i said, there's no indication this guy had any mental health history.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 10 months ago

"He was in a deep hell, I'm guessing, which is why he decided to end it all. He may not have suffered as much as some of us would have wanted, but I'm sure he died in a lot of anguish."Sorry to be so "unfeeling" but I really don't care what he "felt"! I do care a great deal however how the woan he killed felt, and how her family and friends are "feeling' and my heart goes out to them. This filth, should have been taken care of earlier, and I am finding out he has an explozive temper, and was pretty domineering, and the picture that is becoming clear is that this was "no nice guy".So if you are more concerned with this dirtbag's feelings, you have misplaced your moral center. The victims are the woman from Hays and her family, not the scumbag that fled to NJ immediately after he apparently murdered her.

notajayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

vavs0929 (Anonymous) says: "this is going to anger a lot of people: no justice for her family."She's dead. He's dead. Sounds pretty 'just' to me. Seems like complaining that he killed himself instead of the state doing it is more akin to vengeance than justice.

Scott Drummond 9 years, 10 months ago

I stand by my history, bearded. There were also do-gooders who wanted to mainstream the mentally ill to the largest degree possible, and that, no doubt, contributed to the problem in some way, but that contribution is dwarfed by the decision made by Reagan and his backers to defund these institutions and open the doors for the truely deranged to afflict us on the streets of our towns and cities. That point is simply not arguable.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 10 months ago

thanks for reposting my post! apparently, you must've thought it worth repeating, I'm flattered.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 10 months ago

"Ok seriously though thats too bad he will never suffer. Suicide is too easy."Well, I'm guessing he's been suffering ever since he did it. He's a "recovered" perpetrator of domestic violence and he kills his love - an advocate for victims of domestic violence. He was in a deep hell, I'm guessing, which is why he decided to end it all. He may not have suffered as much as some of us would have wanted, but I'm sure he died in a lot of anguish.

LadyJ 9 years, 10 months ago

esl03----Do a search on the name Richard Settlemyre on the LJW. Unfortunately it will only go back on stories until Oct 20, 1989 and not back to the time of the murder July 12, 1988. You can read the trial stories that are between Nov. 11th to the 18th. When you read the parent's testimony it is not the same as their statements given at the time, it actually changes quite a bit, thus my previous remarks. In fact in the original story the parents were separated, and she was going out of town. She left, the dad came later to care for the kids. Says Richard didn't come home and he thought the mother had given him permission to spend the night somewhere. Mom is coming back so dad leaves. Mom gets home, Richard isn't around and says she figured dad had given him permission to stay overnight a someone's house so didn't worry about it and didn't check with the father and thus didn't report him missing. Be advised it is graphic and very upsetting. The part about the murder committed by the killer when he was 15 appears in the May 21, 2003 story. Believe me, it's not something you forget.

hairshoptalk 9 years, 10 months ago

did he confess or comment on the murder before he hanged himself???

KansasKel 9 years, 10 months ago

I am kinda freaked out right now because I looked for this guy's myspace page and realized he sent me a friend request on June 19th! (I did not accept it.)My condolences to Miss Mackey's family.

reason 9 years, 10 months ago

I didnt know who Jana was but i feel for her family and friends and as far as the scum bag that did this--my hats off to the new jersey police--you gave him enough rope to hang himself--at least we know now that we dont have to worry about the court here letting him off after we spend thousands in tax dollars to put him away for the scum bag to get out and kill another innocent victim,

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