“Carnival Mafia” member pleads guilty to first-degree murder…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: March 5, 2019

Jackson SchneiderMarch 5, 2019

A suspect is admitting his role in the deaths of a Kansas couple.  Michael Fowler pleaded guilty last week in Barton County District Court to two counts of first-degree murder.  Fowler was one of four people charged in the July 2018 deaths of Alfred and Pauline Carpenter, who were working as carnival vendors at the Barton County Fair.  The couple disappeared from the Barton County Fairgrounds, and their bodies were later found in a shallow grave in Arkansas.

A verdict is reached in the federal fraud case of Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell.  A jury yesterday found O’Donnell not guilty of 21 counts of wire fraud, but they could not reach a verdict on two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering.  O’Donnell was accused of taking more than 10-thousand-dollars in campaign funds for his personal use in 2015 and 2016.  Defense attorneys have renewed their motion for O’Donnell to be acquitted on the counts on which jurors could not reach a verdict.

A Kansas man is facing federal charges following a carjacking.  Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Stumbaugh was charged last week with carjacking, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say the alleged carjacking took place in Wichita. Stumbaugh allegedly was in possession of a gun and drugs when he was arrested.

One of Texas’ 10 most wanted sex offenders is captured in Kansas.  The U.S. Marshals Service says 27-year-old Billy Don Urango was arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender and violating parole.  He was convicted in 2010 of aggravated sexual assault of a child and indecency.  Urango had been wanted by police since June 2017.

A Kansas water park is facing an uncertain future.  According to a filing the owners of the Schlitterbahn water park owes nearly 180-million-dollars in debt, including additional money to cover legal expenses after criminal charges were filed against the park operators in connection with the 2016 death of a ten-year-old boy on the now-closed Vurruckt  water slide.  The criminal charges against the water park operators were dismissed last month, but the park has not announced if it will open this year.

A carbon monoxide leak is to blame for the evacuation of a Kansas nursing home. Nearly 70 patients were evacuated from the  Legend Healthcare nursing home in Tonganoxie. Officials say no patients suffered serious injuries during the evacuation.

Severe weather is being highlighted across Kansas this week. This week is severe weather awareness week. It is a week where citizens are urged to become educated about severe weather, and about what to do when it threatens.





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