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Archive for Thursday, June 23, 2011

Veteran pleads guilty in Westboro stalking case

June 23, 2011

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— An Army veteran charged with stalking and conspiring to harm members of a controversial Topeka church pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

An attorney for Ryan Newell says his client pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of false impersonation of an officer, which are misdemeanors.

Attorney Boyd McPherson told The Wichita Eagle that Newell received six-month sentences on each count but is being released on two-year probation.

Newell, who lost both legs in Afghanistan, had been charged with felony conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and three misdemeanors.

The Marion man was arrested Nov. 30 after sheriff's detectives found his vehicle parked outside Wichita City Hall while five Westboro Baptist Church members met with police inside.

Westboro members are known for protesting at military funerals.

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