Two men eligible for parole hearings
Two men convicted in Jefferson County in the 1980s -- one for murder, the other for attempted murder -- soon will be eligible for parole.
The Kansas Parole Board will conduct public comment sessions this month for the two men, who are entitled to parole hearings in October.
One of the men, Doyce Gene Bates, now 50, was convicted in Jefferson County of aggravated incest and attempted first-degree murder. According to Jefferson County Sheriff Roy Dunnaway, Bates' wife testified that he and she were driving separately on Feb. 7, 1987, from Jefferson County to Lawrence to have a vehicle worked on.
"He had her pull over," Dunnaway said. "He was following her. She was shot in the head, but she didn't die."
Dunnaway said that Bates apparently had gone home after the shooting.
The incest conviction involved a family member in 1982, the sheriff said.
Bates, who began serving his sentence on Nov. 17, 1987, is being held at Lansing Correctional Facility.
Leslie Lorn Ellifritz, now 47, the other man who soon will have a parole hearing, was convicted of raping and murdering a female hitchhiker at Lake Perry and later dumping her body in the Kansas River in Wyandotte County. According to Jefferson County sheriff's Major Terry Reiling, who worked on the investigation, Ellifritz and another man, Gary Quirk, picked up the hitchhiker, Theresa Ingram Lynn, 24, and repeatedly stabbed and raped her.
One of the men thought he had lost his wallet, Reiling said, so they decided to move Lynn's body from Jefferson County and dump it in the river.
"That's why they didn't leave her there," Reiling said.
After her body was pulled from the river in June 1981, Ellifritz and Quirk were charged with first-degree murder, rape and aggravated sodomy. Five months later, they pled guilty to the reduced charges of second-degree murder and rape. They began serving life sentences in December 1981.
Ellifritz is being held at Lansing, while Quirk, who previously has been passed over for parole, is in custody in El Dorado Correctional Facility.
The parole board will conduct public comment sessions from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 27 at City Hall, One McDowell Plaza, 701 N. Seventh, Kansas City, Kan.; and from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24 in the Landon State Office Building, Room 106-A, 900 S.W. Jackson St., Topeka. Anyone who would like to express an opinion but cannot attend a comment session may write to the parole board, Landon State Office Building, 900 S.W. Jackson St., Room 452-S, Topeka, 66612-1220.