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Archive for Wednesday, August 25, 2010

25 years ago: Emporia woman pleads guilty to conspiring with minister to kill her husband

August 25, 2010

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A sweep of Lawrence nightspots and parties resulted in between 15 and 20 arrests of minors who had been in violation of the new drinking laws. Under the new law, a person was required to have turned 19 before July 1 to legally drink 3.2 beer. The minors were given notices to appear in municipal court instead of being jailed.

Down in Emporia, Lorna Anderson Eldridge pleaded guilty and admitted conspiring with former minister Thomas P. Bird to kill her husband, Martin Anderson. In return for the guilty plea for two counts of criminal solicitation, the charge of conspiracy to commit murder was dropped. Immediately after her plea was entered, Geary County authorities began draining and scanning two ponds in search of the weapon that had killed Anderson. Mrs. Eldridge claimed that she had been “tired of being beaten up and abused” by Anderson, and that she had received $5,000 cash from Bird and had given it to Dan Carter, whose brother had earlier talked with her about “helping her and Bird” by poisoning or drugging Anderson. Mrs. Eldridge said that she wanted to plead guilty in order to “purge her own soul.” She had also agreed to provide the state with any information she had concerning the death of Sandra Bird, the minister’s wife.

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