Governor Kelly Vetoes Numerous Bills
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a number of Republican-backed bills yesterday (FRI), including one that would have allowed people as young as 18 to carry concealed weapons. The legislation would have created a provisional license for Kansans aged 18 to 21, issued by the Kansas attorney general. Kansas legislators approved the bill earlier this month, but not by wide enough margins to override a veto. Governor Kelly also vetoed two election bills, including one that would have barred the governor, secretary of state, or the courts from changing election rules. Another would have limited most individuals to delivering 10 ballots during each election, and required candidates to deliver ballots only from immediate family members.
Kansas Man Enters Not Guilty Plea to Capitol Riot Charges
LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) – A St. Mary’s man has pleaded not guilty to four federal charges related to the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Mark Roger Rebegila entered the not guilty pleas by teleconference yesterday (FRI). Rebegila is charged with violent entry, disorderly conduct, and disruptive conduct on Capitol grounds or a restricted area. A status conference in the case has been scheduled for June 11th. Rebegila is one of five Kansans charged with crimes linked to the January 6th riot.
KC Groups Call for Removal of Police Chief
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KPR) – A group of civil rights organizations is once again calling for the removal of Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith. The Kansas City Star reports that members of the Urban Summit point to a dramatic increase in the number of shootings in Kansas City, the unsolved homicide rate, and the number of Kansas City police officers charged with excessive force. A spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department said that Chief Smith has no plans to resign.
Kansas Supreme Court Reverses Murder Conviction of Wichita Man
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Supreme Court yesterday (FRI) reversed the first-degree murder conviction of a Wichita man. Mark Holley III was convicted in 2017 death of 18-year-old D’Shawn Smith during a botched drug deal. The court said the Sedgwick County District Court should have presented a self-defense argument during jury instructions. The court upheld Holley’s convictions of child endangerment charges, arising from a separate incident when Holley robbed a man while the victim’s children were sitting in the backseat of his car. The murder case now goes back to the district court for further proceedings.
KBI: Inmate Died of Natural Causes
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says a preliminary autopsy indicated a 35-year-old female inmate at the Topeka Correctional Facility died of natural causes related to heart failure. Jessica Chapman died Monday after she collapsed at a scheduled appointment at the prison’s medical clinic. The KBI says Chapman had received medical treatment the previous weekend for chest pains. A corrections department spokeswoman says Chapman’s death is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Chapman was serving time for a drug conviction in Barton County and forgery from Rice County.