Archive for Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Murder suspect makes court appearance

March 14, 2006

By Eric Weslander

The man charged in a deadly shooting earlier this month in Baldwin has been brought back to Douglas County after his capture by Oklahoma state troopers.

Hinndley K. Espinales, 25, Gardner, made his first appearance Monday in Douglas County District Court before Judge Jack Murphy.

A Spanish-language translator stood ready to assist him, but Espinales told Murphy he understood English and didn't need the translator.

Espinales is charged with first-degree murder in the March 4 shooting of acquaintance Alvin Sanchez, 27, at what police said was a birthday party turned violent.

Sanchez, 27, was pronounced dead several hours later at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., after being shot at least once in the head and several times in the body, Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna said.

McKenna said Sanchez had been shot with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

Espinales was arrested in Oklahoma the day after the shooting and later waived extradition to Kansas.

He was booked into the Douglas County Jail on Saturday evening after the Douglas County Sheriff's Office arranged to have him brought back here.

In court Monday, Dist. Atty. Charles Branson read the formal charge against Espinales -- one count of premeditated first-degree murder -- and the judge told Espinales it carried a penalty of life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

Murphy appointed Byron Cerrillo and Jessica Glendening of the Johnson County public defender's office to represent Espinales, and he scheduled the next court date for April 7.

Espinales' bond initially was set at $500,000, but it has been increased to $1 million.

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