Court upholds Salina siblings’ convictions
Junction City ? The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the first-degree murder convictions of a brother and sister in the shooting death of the woman’s former lover.
In its ruling Friday, the court rejected defense attorneys’ arguments that Geary County Atty. Chris Biggs improperly used evidence regarding the church that defendants Dana Flynn and Mikel Dreiling attended.
Flynn and Dreiling, both of Salina, were sentenced to life in prison in the 1992 death of Randall Sheridan, who was shot several times as he jogged along a gravel road near Junction City. The siblings were convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit perjury.
At the time of Sheridan’s death, he and Flynn were in a custody battle over their 7-year-old daughter. Sheridan was killed the day Flynn was supposed to turn their daughter over to him for a weekend visit.
Authorities said members of Fountain of Life a small Salina church founded by Jerry Rollins orchestrated and tried to cover up the crime. They said Rollins was Flynn’s lover and mentor, prophesying to her and her family that Sheridan was an evil man who was abusing his daughter. Child welfare investigators found nothing to substantiate the abuse allegation.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the testimony about religious practices was relevant because it established a motive for the defendants.
Biggs, who is the Democratic nominee in the attorney general’s race, said Friday that he only presented evidence about the church because it was tied to the motive and facts of the case.
Rollins, who entered Alford pleas to two counts of aiding a felon and served about four months in prison for allegedly assisting Flynn and Dreiling, is now the legal guardian for Flynn and Sheridan’s daughter. He has continued his ministry since and denies he and Flynn had a romantic relationship.
He described the testimony about his church and Biggs’ arguments about its practices as “ridiculous.”
The justices also ruled Friday that Biggs had presented sufficient evidence besides motive to convict, such as the knowledge by Flynn that Sheridan was home from work the day he was killed. A witness also saw her drive her car through an automatic car wash twice the day of the slaying. The murder weapon never was found.