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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas • Page 8

The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas • Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:

8 Thursday, September 19,1991 The Sallha JoBftial Youth pleads to shooting after friends' testimony By Associated Press DODGE CITY A 16-year-old boy whose friends testified he had talked about shooting someone pleaded guilty Wednesday to first- degree murder in the random slaying of a meatpacking plant worker. Christopher Martinez, Dodge City, entered the plea during the third day of his trial, which focused on testimony from boys who were with him the night Bruce Romans was shot to death. Romans, 28, was shot in the head April 16 as he walked across a bridge in Dodge City. Martinez was accused of firing the shot that killed Romans from a distance of one-half block. Martinez, who was tried as an adult, will receive a mandatory life sentence with parole possible in 15 years. In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a "murder conspiracy charge. Three of the boys also were handled as adults and have pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy. The fourth, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was handled as a juvenile, and his case is sealed. Defense attorney Camilla Haviland said Martinez agreed to the plea bargain Tuesday night, following a day of damaging testimony by the other boys. "The original statements made by the boys indicated there was a much greater degree of alcohol (involved)" than was indicated by their testimony Tuesday, she said. "Also, there were statements that (Martinez) was drunk, and this was not the evidence presented in the trial." Haviland had talked about using a "rap music defense," claiming Martinez had been hypnotized by violent music, drugs and alcohol when the shooting occurred. But she did not mention it during the trial and said later she dropped it as a defense because the other boys had changed their stories about the music. On Tuesday, the boys said Martinez had talked for more than a year about shooting someone. A friend of the defendant's brother told police Martinez had. "been talking about capping somebody for some time," said Dodge City police Sgt. Ron Elliot. Another defendant, Jason Miles, 17, said Martinez had talked about shooting someone several months before Romans was killed. Ford County Attorney Leigh Hood on Tuesday repeatedly asked the boys if Martinez was drunk or intoxicated the night of the shooting, and they said he was not. The boys said Martinez told them he had been aiming above Romans' head, and Romans had moved just as Martinez pulled the trigger. Haviland said Martinez also told her it was an accident and cried. WALT PRIDIRKINQ 827-9339 15261. Iron AMERICAN FAMILYnnofe AUTO HOMC BUSINESS HCAUH LIFC Pathologist says babies can die on water beds By The Associated Press EMPORIA A New York pathologist who investigated the death of a 7-month-old Emporia infant says water-bed deaths often are diagnosed as sudden infant death syndrome. Autopsy reports filed last week show Morgan Stirton suffocated in December when she slipped, face- down, off a pillow and onto a "free- flow" water bed. A free-flow bed is essentially a soft plastic bag filled with water. "I think it's time to alert parents about this because other cases will pop up and continue to occur," said Dr. Millard Bass, a Brooklyn, N.Y., forensic pathologist. "The only way to stop it is to alert the caretakers as quickly as you can and as accessibly as you can." Judy Pauly, co-owner of a waterbed store in Emporia, said water-bed manufacturers have told dealers about the dangers of placing babies on water beds and have started placing warning labels on water-bed mattresses. Bass was in Wichita attending a conference when the Emporia accident occurred. Morgan's death was at first attributed to SIDS, in which seemingly healthy infants die. "I have no question in my mind that water beds are a deadly instrument when an infant is placed on "You just can't allow an infant to stay on a water bed even for a few minutes." Dr. Millard Bass a water bed and is unattended," Bass said. "You just can't allow an infant to stay on a water bed even for a few minutes. Because in those few minutes, an infant can Bass said the head ok an infant, about one-fourth of its body weight, sinks deepest into water beds. "The water bed wells up and obstructs the mouth," he said. "The harder the infant tries (to fight to breathe) the more the water bed wells up." The beds also pose a risk to older children taking medications that make them sleepy, he said. According to the death report from Dr. Chester Stone, Lyon County coroner, Morgan had been left with a baby sitter and been given a prescribed antihistamine-decongestant and propped on a pillow on the bed to rest. The baby sitter found the child not breathing about 20 minutes after checking her. Murder victim's mom wants Braun tried here By The Associated Press GARDEN CITY The mother of a convenience store clerk shot to death in Garden City wants the accused killer brought to trial in Kansas. But Violet Bentley said Finney County Attorney's Ricklin Pearce has not contacted her about the case. Gregg Braun, 30, who faces the death penalty for the slaying of a Braun Springer, N.M., mini-mart clerk, was charged with two counts each of felony murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping in the slaying of Barbara Kochendorfer, 27, and Mary Rains, 28. Their bodies were found in Garden City July 19, 1989. Both women had been shot in the head with a handgun. "I haven't heard anything," said Violet Bentley, Kochendorfer's mother. "I wrote him a letter, but I didn't get a response." Bentley said she received a letter and copies of newspaper articles from Ruth Hessman, the mother of Rains. The stories center on Hessman's request that the prosecution of Braun be taken from Pierce and given to the Kansas attorney general's office. Hessman, Dodge City, said her request became necessary after Pierce told her he was considering a plea agreement with Braun's defense attorney in which Braun who has denied any part in the Garden City murders would plead guilty to two counts of felony murder in exchange for dismissal of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges. Pierce refused to step down, saying his office "talks hypotheticals all the time." Pierce accused Hessman of having "a negative attitude against law enforcement" and being "extremely counterproductive and having done nothing but create hard feelings." Braun is accused of killing five people in a five-day murder spree involving victims in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. He pleaded guilty but mentally ill in connection with the New Mexico robbery and slaying. Jury selection began Tuesday and continued Wednesday in Santa Fe, N.M., in the sentencing portion of the case. Why Attend One of These NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS? Because you care about Salina and her residents. Because you have a concern about drug and alcohol abuse. Because the problem is community-wide and demands a community-wide solution. Please Join Us For one hour to discuss how we as a community can work together to keep Salina a safe and attractive city in which to live. Five meetings sponsored by the Salina All-American Prevention Partnership are being held throughout the city of Salina and you are invited. One should be close to your neighborhood see you there. All meetings are from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19 Wyatt's Cafeteria Community Room, Central Mall Tuesday, Sept. 24 YWCA (Classroom), 651 E. Prescott Rd. Thursday, Sept. 26 Friendship Center, 746 Commanche Tuesday, Oct. 1 Presbyterian Manor (Recreation Room), 2601 E. Crawford the Salina Journal A partner in the Salina All-American Prevention Partnership bio SINCE tv MERICA'S TECHNOLOGY STORED mm ma mm HURRY! COUPONS GOOD THRU WEDNESDAY ONLY! 200 OFF COUPON' MANAGER'S GIGANTIC CLEARANCE The Home PC That's So Easy to Use It Guarantees Success! Reg. Separate Items 799.90 j-ess Coupon FINAL COST 59990 I Low As $20 Per Month. 1000 RL PC I 3Va" Drive TANDY 4 Includes Color Monitor .95 100 OFF COUPON' Speakerphone With LCD Alphanumeric Display Regular Price 199.95 Less Coupon 100.00 pa Ej ass as OISCDGJ ea UJ tti CD G2 G3 tfi wi HJ CS IS fflejCBiu CH SI gaaa Low As $15 Per Month. L.letSSSii.lj TOjOFFCOUPON! Low As $15 Regular Price NR Cojpon Per I 219.95| 1 70 OFF COUPON! I Our Best 2-Way Speaker With Massive 15" Woofer Regular Price 169.95 Less Coupon 7Q.QQ YOUR FINAL Low As $15 Per 40 OFF COUPON' Our Store Managers Have Slashed Look For the Red Clearance Tags and Save BIG! First Come, First Served. All Items Subject to Prior Sale. Some Items May be Demos. Hurry for Best Selection-Act Now and SAVE! Regular Price Less Coupon World! -ft "ave Portable 119.95 40.00 IOH.1 Most Major Credit Cards Welcome revolving credit. may very depending on your putchutt Check Your Phone Book for the Radio SlWk Store or Dealer Nearest You 1 Dolby" Laboratories Licensing Corp. Moat battery-powered equipment excludes batteries. SWITCHABLE phones work on both tone and pulse lines. Therefore, in areas having only pulse (rotary dial) lines, you can still use services requiring tones. FCC registered. Not lor coin or party lines. We service what we sell. Interest and No Payment until January 1992 on approved RSVP accounts with single-ticket purchases totaling $50.00 or more. Following the no- Interest period, any remaining balance Is subject to a finance charge of up to APR, depending on your state oT residence (60t minimum monthly finance charge). Refer to your RSVP Account Agreement. Offer valid August 29 through September 28,1991. 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