The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on June 3, 1998 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 3, 1998
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Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL GREAT PLAINS WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 1998 AS T JUSTICE Murder trial of Salina man opens Man is accused of killing former police informant, shooting wife By DAVID CLOUSTON The Salina Journal The attorney for accused murderer Tony Brandon Hunt told jurors Tuesday at the opening of Hunt's trial that Hunt was fearful of the murder victim. '. The victim, Lamar Williams, 27, came out of his bedroom carrying a gun when Hunt arrived at the home at 161 Cherry between 3:30 and 4 a.m. June 13,1997. "What do innocent, everyday friends need guns for?" Hunt's attorney, John Ambrosio, asked rhetorically during his opening statement. "I suggest to you the threats were real." Ambrosio, Topeka, is trying to show Hunt acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Williams that night and tried to kill Williams' wife, Jannette Gardenhire, 22. Hunt is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Saline County Attorney Julie McKenna told jurors the crime was not self-defense but a deliberate act born of anger because Williams owed Hunt money. ;Hunt, 22, rural Marquette, claims Williams told him he would have to pay at least $20,000 to end his involvement in an illegal drug business Hunt says he and Williams were involved in. Hunt tried to raise part of the money by approaching Salina businessman Charlie Walker and asking for $9,000, McKenna said. Walker refused but said he would help Hunt by arranging for him to speak with Salina police. Hunt was to have met with police later that day. T POLITICAL DONATIONS Williams and Hunt became friends while Williams worked at Hunt's father's construction business from January through April 1997. Williams had been a college student when he was recruited by Salina police to make drug buys. Williams later became the prime witness in the 1993 trial of three men convicted of murdering a Salina motel clerk. Ambrosio characterized Williams as not the "lilly-white person" depicted by McKenna. He said Williams thought he had "absolution" and would not get in trouble because he had helped authorities convict the murderers. He also said Williams recruited Hunt and others to sell drugs by telling them of his connections to suppliers in California. "It was enough, the story he spun, to convince Tony Hunt he was being accurate," Ambrosio said. Gardenhire, who was among the first witnesses to testify, gave a different picture of Williams and their family. Gardenhire said Williams supported them and their two young children in modest fashion by raising and selling pit bull puppies and receiving benefits from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. Gardenhire said she was not aware of Williams selling drugs, and there were no drugs or large sums of cash in their house. Gardenhire said said Hunt, after shooting Williams, came to the bedroom, pushed her down on the bed and shot once. The bullet grazed the right side of her head and passed through the wall into their children's bedroom. She played dead until he left, then called the police and reported Hunt as the shooter. Koch brothers tied to campaign ad blitz Secret trust paid for last-minute ads that attacked Jill Docking By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — New documents tie billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch to a $1 million advertising blitz that helped four Kansas Republicans win 1996 congressional races, according to a published report. An investigation by Senate Democrats last year suggested a link to the Kochs but turned up no clear evidence. Wichita-based Koch Industries has declined to comment. »The Wall Street Journal reported Monday Republican political consultant Kenneth "Buddy" Barfield of Austin, Texas, had confirmed Koch money flowed into a secret trust that financed the ads. The newspaper said documents appear to substantiate that crucial link, although it said the documents could not be authenticated. The Journal said when Barfield was on Koch's payroll in 1996, he served as the primary contact be- Rezac runs for secretary of state By The Associated Press TOPEKA — You might not think of corporate hog farming as a big issue in the secretary of state's race. Don Rezac does. Rezac, a former state representative from Emmet, announced his candidacy Tuesday for secretary of state. He said wants to use the office to become the "people's friend" on issues, including hog farming. Rezac is the first Democrat to file for secretary of state. He likely won't have primary opposition. Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, a Republican, has filed for re-election. tween Triad Management Services, the controversial political firm that ran TV ads, radio spotsand mass mailings in Kansas, and the Economic Education Trust, which provided the cash for Triad's TV spots. But in the same story, Barfield disputed Senate Democrats' assertion the trust was chiefly funded by'a single donor, saying Charles and David Koch were not the only backers. Koch Industries spokesman Jay Rosser declined to commentTues- day as did the attorney for Triad. Nationally, the Triad ad campaign signaled the return of huge, anonymous political contributions from wealthy donors. Campaign watchdog groups have been outspoken about such donations, saying voters deserve to know who is paying for campaigns. By law, a Kansan wanting to donate to a campaign would be limited to $1,000. But Koch reportedly gave $410,000 for Republican Senate candidate Sam Brownback alone, by funneling money to an outside group that ran its own Brownback ads, independent of the campaign, which argued the ads weren't "political." MAURE WEIGEL Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron MORE NEWS... MORE OFTEN. 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