State talking points

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Lead-in Democrat pulls out of Senate race

Chad Taylor, the former Democratic challenger to Republican Pat Roberts in the race for the U.S. Senate, formally withdrew from the race on Wednesday, a Topeka Capital Journal article said.

That leaves only incumbent Pat Roberts and Independent Greg Orman as contenders for the position. Wednesday was the last day a candidate could request to be removed from November’s ballot. Kay Curtis, spokesman for the Kansas Secretary of State, said in the article that Taylor turned in the paperwork Wednesday afternoon.

Shooting rampage victims identified, suspect faces death penalty

Three victims of a shooting rampage in Kansas City, Kansas were named Wednesday, according to a Kansas City Star article.

The identified were Susan Choucroun, 69; Lorene Hurst, 88, and her son, Darrel Hurst, 63. Two other persons, an elderly couple, were critically injured.

A neighbor quoted in the article said the gunman apparently tried to steal the couple’s Jaguar before fleeing in their Toyota Highlander.

Brandon B. Howell was charged in Jackson County Circuit Court with three counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action, two counts of first-degree assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Howell, acquitted five years ago in the killings of two teenagers, now faces a potential death sentence for Tuesday’s rampage, according to a May 1 Kansas City Star article.

Kansas City Deputy Police Chief Randy Hopkins said in the article that a tip from the public led officers to Howell. The investigation is ongoing as investigators seek to learn how Howell entered the southern Kansas City cul-de-sac area and exactly how he went about committing the crimes.

Political ad pulled after records show misconduct of actor

A campaign ad for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis was pulled after information released showed an actor in the ad was suspended from a teaching position and had been previously arrested in connection with solicitation of sodomy, according to a Topeka Capital Journal article Wednesday.

The actor, Jeff J. Montague, was suspended in 1989 from Seaman High School and subsequently released from the Boy Scouts of America, according to the article.

The Capital Journal received the documents of Montague’s 2007 arrest from the Kansas Republican Party. He was arrested in connection with solicitation of sodomy at a Topeka park.

Independence man faces child pornography charges

25-year-old Nicholas A. Braile of Independence, Kansas faces charges on two counts of attempting to produce child pornography, according to a Kansas City Star article published Wednesday.

Officials found 2,600 images of child pornography on Braile’s phone, computer and other computer media, according to court records cited in the article.

Man sentenced to seven years in prison for keeping girl in basement

Timothy A. Phillips, 31, was sentenced to seven years in prison for endangering the welfare of a child, according to a Kansas City Star article.

Phillips forced his 9-year-old daughter to sleep in a basement for months. She was only allowed to use the bathroom outside, and was allegedly locked up for a school suspension.

Phillips pleaded guilty to the charge in April. His girlfriend, Lacey A. Chaney, 28, who pleaded guilty in January to the same charge, received an identical prison term earlier this year, according to the article.

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Shelton Burch
Shelton grew up in the desert southwest. A native of Lancaster, California, he mostly grew up in south Phoenix, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Colorado Springs, Colorado before moving to Kansas and graduating from Junction City High School. He started working as a news writer for the Collegian in 2009 before taking a three-year break from college. He returned to K-State in 2013 and has since worked for the news desk, feature desk, as a copy editor and now as a sports writer. He enjoys tap dancing, writing anything possible, reading court opinions and watching Arizona Coyotes hockey.