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A Sedgwick County jury began deliberations Friday in a first-degree murder trial that started just six weeks after a key witness committed suicide.
But the testimony that the deceased witness gave at an earlier hearing proved to be some of the strongest evidence that prosecutors had in their case against Travis Knighten.
Knighten, 20, is charged in the May 7, 2011, shooting death of Mario Brown, 22, at an after-hours party in a parking lot at the southwest corner of 13th and Hillside.
Police are looking into why a 48-year-old homeless man left a note for two girls at a school bus stop in north Wichita on Wednesday morning.
The man, who was staying in a tent city in Grove Park just off Hillside near 29th Street North, was arrested on an unrelated warrant, Lt. Doug Nolte said.
“He had written a note to them,” Nolte said of the man’s interest in the 11- and 12-year-old girls, who attend Hamilton Middle School. “It was waiting at the bus stop.”
Authorities on Thursday searched neighborhoods north of downtown for at least two men suspected in a shooting, prompting six nearby schools to lock down for part of the afternoon.
Wichita police Sgt. Ron Hunt said the pair remained at large by evening, several hours after an apparent shootout involving two vehicles at the Family Dollar near 13th and Broadway. A woman who owns one of the vehicles – an SUV that later crashed at 11th and Waco – was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice after she showed up at the scene and refused to cooperate with officers, Hunt said.
The “rolling disturbance” began shortly before 3 p.m., when someone in a white car fired at least three rounds at the SUV after it pulled into the parking lot of the Family Dollar in the 300 block of East 13th Street. At least one witness told police that someone in the SUV returned gunfire, Hunt said.
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Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County, KS, Inc • P.O. Box 2601 Wichita, KS 67201 • (316)268-4669