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Jurors in the murder trial of Brett Seacat watched a video Thursday of the April 30, 2011, fire that quickly engulfed the upper story of his Kingman home, bursting through the windows on the back of the house before crawling up and over the rooftop.
They also heard two loud popping sounds come from the engulfed home, followed by more popping sounds, and a man could be heard saying “something’s going off” and that there were “fireworks in the house.”
Shawn Harbert testified he and a friend were walking on Pine Street in Kingman when they smelled smoke and saw the fire. He captured the blaze on video with his cellphone.
A Sedgwick County judge appeared to be teetering between prison and probation Thursday as he prepared to sentence a former Clearwater Middle School teacher for sexually abusing a 15-year-old former student.
In the end, District Judge Terry Pullman concluded “by the narrowest of margins” that Cathleen Balman, 40, would be less likely to re-offend if she were placed in a treatment program rather than be sent to prison for 34 months as prosecutors were recommending.
He placed Balman on probation and ordered her to have no contact with non-relatives under the age of 18.
Three people from North Hollywood, Calif., have been arrested in an alleged scheme in which semi-trailer loads of goods were stolen from companies in California and an attempt to steal a load of processed beef was made in southwest Kansas, U. S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Wednesday.
Two of the three people, Oganes Nagapetian, 53, and his wife, Larisa Nagapetian, 46, are scheduled to be arraigned on a federal indictment in the U.S. District Court in Wichita on June 4; the third defendant, Tigran Nagapetian, 50, a brother of Oganes Nagapetian, appeared Tuesday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Los Angeles. He also is scheduled to appear for arraignment in Kansas on June 4.
All three are charged in the Kansas federal indictment, Grissom said.
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