With a cellphone text that read "wake up sleeping beauty," a Kansas man whom prosecutors say was obsessed with a 14-year-old cheerleader launched a torrent of messages in July 2010 that ended after the girl's death the following month, according to evidence at his trial Wednesday.
April 04, 2012|
BY THE ASSOCITATED PRESS
and SUSAN THACKER/Great Bend Tribune
Joseph Rykiel, the man convicted in the death of 15-year-old Jessica Cheyanne Shearer after he injected her with morphine on July 4, 2011, was sentenced on Monday to four years and nine months in prison. Barton County District Judge Ron Svaty approved the standard sentence for someone with Rykiel's criminal history, even though the defendant's court-appoint attorney filed a motion seeking a reduced sentence.
It was clear members of the Great Bend City Council had other things on their minds Monday night as the met. The opening gavel went down at 7:30 p.m. and the closing gavel went down about 20 minutes later, in plenty of time for them to make it home for the tip-off of the University of Kansas national basketball championship game.
ELLINWOOD - The Ellinwood Area Health Foundation will be hosting its first "Giving is Receiving" event. This year's fundraising event includes a donor drive, health fair, poker run, dinner, dance and raffle to be held from 10 a.m. to midnight on April 28. Proceeds will be used to help purchase a new telemetry unit for cardiac patients and many needed items for Ellinwood District Hospital and clinic.
The Barton County Commission meeting Monday morning started under a pall as commissioners remembered veteran Great Bend Tribune City Editor Chuck Smith who covered their meetings for years. Smith died last Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 56.
Adam Longoria told Venture Corp. coworker Adam Rios that he was attracted to Alicia DeBolt but didn't expect it would lead to anything because she was so young, Rios testified Friday. During the second day of testimony in Barton County District Court, jurors for Longoria's capital murder trial also heard how a Venture employee discovered the burned body of the 14-year-old Great Bend girl on Aug. 24, 2010, and the about the investigation then launched by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
Kansas' own son, Skip Yowell, was recently back in town to share his journey from small town boy to one of the founders of an international company. He spoke to the entrepreneurship class at Great Bend High School, juniors and seniors, and did a library presentation to community members.
ELLINWOOD - In a take-off of the wildly popular book, "The Hunger Games', students from Ellinwood Middle and High School enjoyed the day off from classes Wednesday to participate in a "The Hunger Games" day of their own making.