Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2008

Convict testifies about day of shooting

A man already convicted in the shooting death of a retired jeweler took the stand on Wednesday against his cousin who is also charged with the same murder.

July 31, 2008


Leonard Price swiped some change from the top of a bedroom dresser and started into the living room when a voice called out.

"What are you doing in my house?"

Those were the last words 77-year-old David Boose said before he was shot to death during a burglary three years ago in his rural Lecompton home.

The gunshot came from a pistol fired by Allen Dale Smith, according to Price, 46, who described how Boose, a retired jeweler, died during testimony Wednesday in Douglas County District Court.

Smith, 35, is on trial for felony murder and aggravated burglary in connection with Boose's death on April 29, 2005. Prosecutors say Price and Smith were accomplices. Price has already pleaded guilty to felony murder under a plea agreement reached with the Douglas County District Attorney's office. Price, also known as "Battle Ax," testified on Wednesday while dressed in red jail clothing and wearing ankle cuffs.

Both Price and Smith, who are cousins, are serving prison sentences for a burglary and shooting in Pottawatomie County that occurred a few days after Boose's death.

Smith's attorney, Tom Bartee, said in opening arguments earlier this week that his client has an alibi for the Boose killing and questioned Price's credibility.

But Price testified that he and Smith were driving around looking for houses to burglarize that day. They didn't think anyone was at the Boose residence. Price said he entered the house through an open side door. He said he called out to see if anyone was home and got no answer.

After the shooting, Price said, he found Smith in the kitchen with the pistol. Price said he told Smith they needed to leave. Smith argued, Price said.

"Leonard, we can have anything we want," Price quoted Smith as saying.

Price said he went on to the car and Smith soon joined him. Price said he drove off and while crossing a bridge Smith tossed the gun into the water. After dropping off Smith in Topeka, Price drove to a bar.

"I had a couple of drinks," he said.

While he was in the Pottawatomie jail, Price said he decided to cooperate with Douglas County detectives investigating the Boose homicide. The incident bothered him, he said. Investigators were already focusing on Smith as the key suspect based on his own statements, prosecutors have said.

Price, who said he grew up in a family that taught him not to talk to police, is serving 13 years for the Pottawatomie County convictions. Under the plea agreement with Douglas County, prosecutors will recommend to the judge that he serve that sentence concurrently with his sentence in the Boose case. His sentencing is set for Aug. 20. He is looking at 20 years to life in prison.


Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 10 months ago

sorry raccoon. Allen shouldn't have been hanging with the wrong crowd even if he didn't shoot. Just because someone seems nice doesn't mean they aren't a criminal. I went to school with a guy who murdered someone and I didn't think he was capable of killing. Obviously Allen didn't try to stop Mr Battle Axe on any of these crime sprees they went on. They should consider themselves lucky, I know lots of people that live in rural Lecompton and they are heavily armed. Mr Boose was a great guy and didn't deserve to die to these thugs.

racoon1344 9 years, 10 months ago

I know Allen Smith and he is not capable of killing anyone.He does have a record of burglary, but he had not beeninvolved in any violent crime until the one in pott county.Allen was convicted in that one because Price fired the shots and Allen was with him at the time. Allen testifiedagainst Price in that crime and that is why Price is nowtestifing against Allen, just for revenge. Price is a manwho has gone through life proudly proclaiming his nickname is battleaxe and is now trying to show the worldthat he was an angel in this terrible crime. My deepestsympathies go out to the Boose family. But mydeepest feeling is that Allen could not have done thisterrible thing.

Quigly 9 years, 10 months ago

Battle Axe going down for some change. He is a real intelligent man.

thebigspoon 9 years, 10 months ago

"The gunshot came from a pistol fired by Allen Dale Smith, according to Price, 46, who described how Boose, a retired jeweler, died during testimony Wednesday in Doug;as County Court."Does anyone find it strange that Mr. Boose died during testimony when he was supposedly shot dead several years ago? Great piece of writing/editing, LJW. It's this kind of journalism that makes greatness.

Evan Ridenour 9 years, 10 months ago

Sorry racoon1344, It doesn't matter who fired the shot. It is felony murder either way.

Shifty 9 years, 10 months ago

Maybe you should check your facts. Allen shot at the victim in Pott County, just as Leonard did. He admitted to shooting and pled guilty. Neither are angels.

coolmom 9 years, 10 months ago

if they were not invading peoples homes that would not have happened. jerks 20 years is not long enough.

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