Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Murder suspect returned

March 16, 2006

After about a week in Oklahoma, Hinndley K. Espinales, 25, Gardner, was returned to Douglas County where he made his first court appearance Monday to face first-degree murder charges from the March 4 shooting in Baldwin.

"He's back," said Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna. "He's going to have a new address for awhile."

In court Monday, Espinales declined a Spanish-language interpreter, saying he understood English. District Attorney Charles Branson read the formal charge premeditated first-degree murder.

District Court Judge Jack Murphy told Espinales the charge carried a penalty of life in prison with no parole for 25 years. Murphy also appointed Byron Cerrillo and Jessica Glendening of the Johnson County public defender's office to represent Espinales and the scheduled the next court date for April 7.

Espinales is accused of shooting Alvin M. Sanchez, 27, Olathe, with a 9mm handgun around 2:15 a.m. March 4 when a birthday party in Baldwin turned violent. Sanchez was taken by helicopter ambulance to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., where he died later that afternoon from gunshot wounds to the head and torso, McKenna said.

The shooting involved extended family, he said.

"Even though they are blood relatives, most don't have the same last name," said McKenna.

The party was at the home of Rufino Espinales and Lisa Wellington at 109 Hillside Drive, he said. Hinndley Espinales is Rufino's son. Wellington's daughter, Janelia Young, was Sanchez's husband, he said.

Hinndley Espinales and Sanchez became engaged in an argument, but it appeared it had been settled, McKenna said. However, Espinales went outside the home, retrieved the pistol, returned and allegedly shot Sanchez, he said.

Espinales then fled the shooting scene on foot. He later secured the use of a girlfriend's car and headed south on I-35. He was spotted by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, stopped and arrested.

Espinales was arraigned in Murray County Court in Sulphur, Okla., on the murder charge and waived extradition back to Kansas. Douglas County Sheriff's officers brought him back to Douglas County Saturday.

Bond had originally been set at $500,000 in Oklahoma, but was increased to $1 million.

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