A Parsons woman received a required probation sentence for breaking into the concession stand at the Babe Ruth League baseball fields at Winway Park.
Katrina M. Beach, 34, Parsons, pleaded no contest to non-residential burglary, a felony. She was supposed to be tried in two cases last month, but the plea resolved both trials and the other case, alleging forgery, was dismissed at sentencing. Beach’s limited criminal history and the low level of the crime require probation rather than prison.
Beach and Langston Polk led police on a 28-mile vehicle chase from Winway Park in Parsons into Neosho County on Sept. 1, 2019. Polk and Beach stole items from the concession stand at Winway before being spotted by police during the crime and speeding off.
Polk will be sentenced Wednesday for non-residential burglary and fleeing and eluding.
On Friday, Judge Steve Stockard sentenced Beach.
Stockard gave Beach a chance to speak before he sentenced her. She didn’t respond immediately. He asked her specifically if she had an apology.
She shook her head and waited about 10 seconds before responding. She then said: “I do apologize for anything that arose from it.”
Stockard sentenced Beach to 13 months in prison on the non-residential burglary charge. He suspended the term, based on her criminal history and sentencing law, and assigned her to probation for two years.
Stockard asked about her ability to pay $150 restitution in the case and attorney fees for Brandon Cameron’s services. She said she works at a Parsons restaurant and should have enough money in early March once she gets her income tax back. Stockard gave her 90 days to pay the $150 in restitution. She is also to pay $500 in attorney fees and court costs.
In another case, James J.T. Gofourth, 18, of Independence had a new attorney appointed to his case that charges him with aggravated robbery, distribution of methamphetamine, both felonies, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors. Gofourth also faces criminal use of a weapon and driving without a license, both misdemeanors.
At 1:40 a.m. Oct. 18, Labette County dispatchers received a call about an attempted robbery of a person at the Town Motel in Chetopa. Chetopa police and the Labette County Sheriff’s Office responded. The alleged victim was staying in the motel, law enforcement said at the time.
During the investigation law officers determined the suspects left eastbound in a vehicle crossing the Neosho River. As a search for the suspects began, the Kansas Highway Patrol and Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office assisted. While searching, a vehicle matching the description was spotted in Cherokee County on U.S. 166 headed toward Chetopa. As the Cherokee County deputy turned around, the suspect vehicle increased speed, gaining distance, according to Labette County Sheriff Darren Eichinger in a prepared statement.
As the suspect vehicle entered Chetopa city limits, a Chetopa police officer along with Labette and Cherokee County deputies were able to intercept it, the statement said.
The officers removed the vehicle occupants, Gofourth, James Musgrove and Racheal Westman, and each of them matched the description given by the robbery victim. After removing the occupants, the Labette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 was deployed. The dog indicated the presence of drugs in the vehicle.
During a search, officers located the loaded handgun that was described by the victim of the attempted robbery. A check of the handgun revealed it was stolen from Pittsburg. In addition, officers located about 2 ounces of methamphetamine and items used for packaging and distribution of meth, the statement said.
On Friday, Judge Stockard appointed Mark Fern to represent Gofourth. Gofourth’s first attorney, Amy Ross, lacks experience to defend a level three felony under Board of Indigents Defense Service regulations. So she had withdrawn from the case.
Gofourth will return to court on March 3.