Crime, Fire, Courts

Martin Miller retrial: Daughter heard deceased screaming on morning of incident
11:21 a.m., April 1, 2015 Updated 09:52 p.m.
The daughter of a 56-year-old former Lawrence carpenter and Christian school leader charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife testified at her father’s retrial Wednesday that she heard her mother screaming the morning her mother died. By Caitlin Doornbos
Lawrence man’s soon-to-be ex-wife testifies he sodomized her
06:01 p.m., March 31, 2015 Updated 10:12 p.m.
A 38-year-old Lawrence man was bound over for trial Tuesday on one charge of aggravated criminal sodomy after his ex-wife testified at a preliminary hearing that he sodomized her.
Martin Miller retrial: Still no jury after second day of voir dire
05:47 p.m., March 31, 2015 Updated 10:08 p.m.
The second day of jury selection in the retrial of Martin Miller, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife more than 10 years ago, concluded Tuesday with 48 potential jurors selected for the jury panel. A Douglas County jury convicted Miller, 56, in 2005 of first-degree murder in the July 28, 2004, death of Mary E. Miller, 46, at the family’s central Lawrence home. The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled in February 2014 that Miller should get a new trial based on errors in the jury instructions during his initial trial.
Lawrence man charged with animal cruelty, making threat
08:33 p.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:41 p.m.
A Lawrence man faces felony charges after he was accused of killing a 10-week-old puppy and threatening a victim he shared the animal with, police said.
Martin Miller trial: Jury selection begins in retrial of Lawrence man once convicted of murder
10:42 a.m., March 30, 2015 Updated 10:44 p.m.
Jury selection began this morning in the retrial of Martin Miller, charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife in 2004.
Kansas appeals court clarifies use of ‘stand your ground’ defense
March 28, 2015
The Kansas Court of Appeals said trial courts must follow strict rules before allowing a defendant to claim immunity from prosecution under the state’s so-called “stand your ground” law. That 2010 law says individuals cannot be arrested, detained or prosecuted for using deadly force if they acted in self defense, unless officers can show probable cause that a crime was committed. By Peter Hancock
Judge considers allowing man convicted of sex crimes to take back waiver of juvenile jurisdiction
06:23 p.m., March 27, 2015 Updated 09:28 p.m.
Douglas County District Judge Kay Huff said she will consider allowing a 19-year-old Yuma, Ariz., man who pleaded guilty to multiple sex offense in June to take back his waiver of juvenile jurisdiction in the case.
Victim’s father suing man convicted in beer bottle death, party host for $1.5 million
06:05 p.m., March 27, 2015 Updated 09:39 p.m.
The father of Nicholas Sardina, 27, of Lawrence, who was killed in 2012 after being struck over the head with a beer bottle during a brawl at a house party, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man convicted of manslaughter in his son’s death and the woman who hosted the party.
Detective: Financial records caused suspicion of man charged with first-degree murder
04:09 p.m., March 27, 2015 Updated 09:40 p.m.
A Lawrence detective testified Friday that financial records found at the crime scene raised suspicions about Ronald Eugene Heskett, a 48-year-old Eudora man charged with first degree murder in the death of a disabled Lawrence man in his care.
Colorado defends pot law, says states free to legalize weed
03:41 p.m., March 27, 2015 Updated 09:39 p.m.
States are free to legalize marijuana, Colorado argued Friday in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to a lawsuit from neighboring states that have asked the nation’s highest court to shut down Colorado’s pot law.
Lawrence man bound over for trial after allegedly ramming van into sheriff’s vehicle
05:35 p.m., March 26, 2015 Updated 10:48 p.m.
A 30-year-old Lawrence man charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer after allegedly ramming his van into a marked Douglas County sheriff’s vehicle Aug. 13 on the road crossing Clinton Dam was bound over for jury trial after a Thursday preliminary hearing.
Jury trials pushed out for two co-defendants, one a pro baseball player, in Lawrence aggravated robbery case
04:58 p.m., March 26, 2015 Updated 10:43 p.m.
The jury trials for two Lawrence Free State High School graduates, one a minor league baseball player in the Boston Red Sox farm system, charged in a Lawrence home-invasion robbery were pushed out Thursday until May. By Caitlin Doornbos
Plaintiffs seek to block new Kansas school funding plan
01:31 p.m., March 26, 2015 Updated 10:52 p.m.
Plaintiffs in an ongoing school finance case asked a three-judge panel in Topeka on Thursday to block implementation of a new school funding plan that Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Wednesday. By Peter Hancock
Woman testifies against former Haskell students in rape hearing
03:37 p.m., March 25, 2015 Updated 10:15 p.m.
A 20-year-old woman testified Wednesday at a preliminary hearing that two fellow Haskell Indian Nations University students raped her in their dorm room during the early morning hours of Nov. 15, 2014.
Firefighters extinguish basement fire in 1000 block of New Jersey Street
03:28 p.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 09:57 p.m.
Firefighters extinguished a fire in the basement of a home in the 1000 block of New Jersey Street on Tuesday afternoon.