Archive for Friday, January 16, 2009

Second defendant convicted in Dollar General murder

January 16, 2009

A Wyandotte County jury Friday convicted a second defendant of first-degree murder in the November 2005 murder of a manager at a Bonner Springs Dollar General Store.

Jurors convicted John W. Backus, 22, of Bonner Springs, of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery for the murder of Robin K. Bell, 44, who lived in Tonganoxie.

Bell was found dead in the store she managed, killed by a blow to the head with a metal tripod. The crime remained unsolved for nearly two years. In May 2008, a jury convicted Robert Haberlein, 21, of Kansas City, Kan., of the same three charges.

A third defendant — Amber Russell, a Lenexa teen who was a juvenile at the time of the crime — has an agreement with the Wyandotte County district attorney’s office that she will be tried as a minor in exchange for testimony against the other two defendants.

District Judge John McNally will sentence Haberlein and Backus on March 27.

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