Archive for Monday, November 24, 2008

Topeka man convicted of murder in death of Lecompton area man

A jury says a Topeka man is guilty of a 2005 murder in the Lecompton area.

November 24, 2008


The family of 77-year-old Clarence David Boose has done a lot of waiting for three-and-a-half years.

It took several months before Douglas County Sheriff’s detectives caught a break and identified suspects in the April 2005 shooting death of the retired jeweler in the Lecompton area.

Boose’s family also had to sit through not one but two trials of 37-year-old Allen Dale Smith, the Topeka man accused of shooting Boose.

Monday afternoon, the waiting game came to an end.

“They said, ‘Dad could rest now,’” District Attorney Charles Branson said after jurors convicted Smith of first-degree murder and aggravated burglary.

Jurors heard testimony last week and deliberated for about four hours Monday before convicting Smith.

“It took so long for the case to develop. The sheriff’s department really worked so incredibly hard on this case,” Branson said.

Detectives had to rely on interviews and other information because they never found the murder weapon, for instance, that co-defendant Leonard Price, Smith’s cousin, said was tossed into the Kansas River.

Even after the August mistrial, when jurors weren’t able to reach a verdict, Branson said sheriff’s detectives never stopped working. They even tracked down Tim James, a federal inmate and Smith’s former cellmate . James testified at the second trial that Smith had confessed the murder to him.

“It helps that we had just a little bit more this time,” Branson said.

Another key witness in the case was Price, who in February 2007 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for taking part in the botched burglary.

Price said Smith fired the fatal shot from a pistol when Boose interrupted the burglary. Douglas County District Judge Michael Malone will sentence Price at 4 p.m. today.

The two cousins conducted several burglaries in area counties, and they both are already serving prison sentences for attempted murder for a shooting during a Pottawatomie County burglary less than a week after Boose’s killing.

Smith came forward and started talking to officers in late 2005, and during several interviews he tried to pin the blame on Price.

Branson said that Amy McGowan, a chief assistant district attorney, was able to effectively tie together the volume of interviews and information during closing arguments Monday for jurors.

Smith’s defense attorney Tom Bartee had argued that Smith had an alibi during Boose’s murder.

Smith faces 20 years to life in prison for Boose’s murder. Malone will sentence him Jan. 7.


racoon1344 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope that this will help bring closure to the Boose family. I truly do feel for their loss. I also hope thateveryone will understand that another family has justbeen devastated. Allen Smith will have to live with whathas happened, but his family had nothing to do with it,and now they have lost a family member. I have saidin earlier comments that there can be no winners here.My only hope now is that both families can find a way togo on and put all of this behind them. God Bless theBoose family, and God Bless Allen's mother and family.

somebodynew 9 years, 4 months ago

racoon1344 - while I do truely understand and agree with what you are saying - both families have lost. BUT- to me there is a huge difference. The Boose family did nothing to deserve this. Mr. Boose was a kind, loving, man living his life for what it was and trying to be happy. He lost his life, and his family paid the ultimate price for him just being himeself.On the other hand, Allen brought all this on himself. First, because he was stealing things from decent citizens, then because he was messed up on drugs. (North Topeka and Meth Heads who woulda thought.)Then to top it off, he drags this out as long as he can, making his entire family suffer at the same time. I have no sympathy for him (I do for his mother as she is a good person).I have much more "respect" for Leonard who, when realizing he was caught, stood up and took responsibility for his actions. Not that Leonard is any paragon of virtue and I detest what he did in his lifetime, but when the s**t hit the fan, he was man enough to own up to his part in this. He is truely "old school", and as an "old schooler" myself, I think Leonard and his family deserve more thought and prayers than Allen. Keep in mind Leonard knew that when he talked, he was going to die in prison. Compare that to Allen who wanted to blame anybody but himself - and he will survive his sentence (unfortunately).I had better stop now.

racoon1344 9 years, 4 months ago

somebodynew - You must be a member of the Boosefamily or a close relative, and if you are, you have mydeepest sympathies. I agree that Mr. Boose and hisfamily did not deserve what happened. I also agree that Alllen brought this on himself. We cannot understand why he chose to run around withthe likes of Leonard Price. That is something I doubtwe will ever understand. Leonard doesn't deserve any respect for anything he has done. We hope that this time, he never gets outagain, because if he does, this will happen again tosomeone else. Leonard Price is nothing more than avicious animal that shouldn't have been out of prison inthe first place. When Leonard pled guilty to this, he wasn't standing up to take responsibility, he just wantedto go back to prison. He cannot handle being on the outside. You also don't know Leonard's family, becausemost of them are not much better than Leonard. Almostall of the Price family have been in trouble with the law,but Leonard was the worst of the lot. Allen is going to pay a heavy price for his actions, and if he was truly involved, it is nothing less than he deserves. I wasn't at the trial because I had backsurgery a week before the trial and am still recoveringfrom that. There was no way I could be there. I have known Allen's mother for many years and I feel so badthat I couldn't be there to support her though this. You couldn't find anyone who is so willing to help othersthan her, and just like the Boose family, she did not deserve this. I sincerely mean this, I hope that this will help to easethe pain, and hopefully over time the pain will ease.God Bless both families.

somebodynew 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, OK Racoon - You make some really valid points. I give you credit for that. No, I am not a Boose family member, just someone very close to this case.I also understand your perspective of Leonard and agree with it. He should not have been out of prison to be able to do this. But, Allen has lied and would have sold anyone down the river to avoid connection to this case.]I have dealt with both and chose Leonard over Allen in this particular case.

Staci Dark Simpson 9 years, 4 months ago

Throw the book at him! He should never see daylight again. Mr. Boose was a great guy who didn't deserve to die by the hands of some greedy thugs.

lmc082104 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree with spacystaci8......Neither one of them will ever get what they really deserve.

CLARKKENT 9 years, 4 months ago

o.k., tell me again why we do not need the death penalty.

lmc082104 9 years, 4 months ago

Definalty need the death penalty for pigs like these two!

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