Archive for Wednesday, September 4, 2002

Father charged in death of son

September 4, 2002

A Cameron, Mo., man, charged in the death of his 11-year-old disabled son, will spend the next few weeks undergoing a mental evaluation at Larned State Hospital.

Raymond Dean Boothe is charged in Leavenworth County District Court with first-degree murder and aggravated battery in the death of his son, Raymond Levi Boothe.

Leavenworth County officials allege that Boothe, who was traveling along the Kansas Turnpike with his children, stopped his vehicle, pulled his 11-year-old son out and stabbed him with needle-nose pliers.

The incident occurred about 9:20 p.m. Aug. 27, 1.5 miles east of the Leavenworth-Douglas county line.

"He was kind of staggering around, and he dragged him up and threw him in the traffic lane," said Major Dave Zoellner, Leavenworth County undersheriff. "He figured if he wasn't going to die from stabbing, he was going to get hit and that would kill him. And then he left."

Boothe spent the next several hours driving around, with his other children Nicole, 9, Mitchell, 7, and Makayla, 6. Zoellner said Boothe was telling the children that they should not tell anyone about what happened.

"He then decided he was going to kill them and kill himself," Zoellner said. "So he floored it."

Boothe ran off the road near 27th Street and Lawrence Avenue in a residential area in southwest Lawrence, hitting a curb and sailing through two trees. But he and his children walked away from the crash.

The dead boy, who apparently had been born with several developmental disabilities, had lived at a group home in Creston, Iowa. The other children lived with their parents in Cameron, Mo., although their mother was in an alcohol rehabilitation program. The three children had been staying with an aunt in Osborn, Mo.

Zoellner said the elder Boothe told him that the boy had made an obscene gesture to his father.

"He grabbed (the boy) and he said he's evil and he said he tried to choke him to death," Zoellner said.

Boothe then stopped the car, Zoellner said, and dragged the boy to the ditch and stabbed the child.

Zoellner said officers are continuing their investigation, including whether Boothe ran over the boy after he threw him onto the traffic lane. Lawrence officials are contemplating whether to file charges against Boothe.

A court hearing is set for Oct. 3 to determine whether Boothe is competent for trial.

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