Topeka man pleads guilty to killings 12 years apart
TOPEKA ? A 40-year-old Topeka man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder for killings that happened a dozen years apart.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Monroe Eugene Lockhart III entered pleas Thursday in the Jan. 3, 2012, fatal shooting of his business partner, 39-year-old Corey Brown, and the Feb. 14, 2000, shooting of 25-year-old Damon Anderson.
Brown’s body was found in Douglas County.
Deputy Shawnee County prosecutor Jacqie Spradling told a judge Thursday that Lockhart shot Brown twice in the head for disrespecting him by refusing to intervene on Lockhart’s behalf in a dispute with Brown’s father.
She said Lockhart shot Anderson because the victim owed him money and said he wasn’t going to pay it.
Spradling said she will seek to have Lockhart sentenced to at least 50 years in prison.
Brown’s body was found by a passerby on the Upper River Road, near the BNSF railroad tracks west of Lecompton, on Jan. 5, 2012.
Brown had managed a retail development in Topeka that was the scene of shootings and a deadly robbery in the months before he died. Hours after he disappeared, Topeka police found a burned 2005 Cadillac that authorities said belonged to Lockhart.
Lockhart, 40, has also been charged with arson and insurance fraud.
Several months after Brown was killed, Lockhart was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison for his role in a November 2011 home invasion.