Archive for Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Bonner Springs man charged in beating death of KCK man

October 16, 2002

A Bonner Springs man has been charged with four other people in the beating death of a Kansas City, Kan., man, whose body was found last weekend in the Kansas River near De Soto.

The Wyandotte County district attorney charged Kyle Cavaness, 19, of Bonner Springs; Robert Buehler-May, 19, of Overland Park; and Ryan Goldberg, 25, of Kansas City, Kan., with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the death of Deangelo L. Wheeler, 25. They are each being held in the Wyandotte County Jail on a $200,000 bond.

Michael Dressler, 40, of Kansas City, Kan., and Alisha Gray were each charged with aiding a felon and are being held on $50,000 bond.

The defendants made their first court appearance on the charges Tuesday. An attorney entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Cavaness. A judge scheduled an arraignment hearing for all five defendants on Oct. 22.

Wheeler's body was found Sunday by Leavenworth County and Overland Park water rescue teams near the bridge that joins De Soto and southern Leavenworth County.

The search began after Kansas City, Kan., police received a tip Saturday that Wheeler, 25, had been killed at a house where Gray and Goldenberg lived at the 4702 Crest Dr.

Police officers found evidence of foul play in the house, including the victim's blood, authorities said.

Four of the five defendants were arrested Saturday and interviewed by police. Authorities would not say if the defendants confessed to the slaying.

The fifth suspect, Dressler, was later arrested and charged Monday.

Wheeler was allegedly killed during an argument with three of the defendants Goldberg, Buehler-May and Cavaness. According to the coroner's office, Wheeler was severely beaten with baseball bats or a blunt object, and suffocated with a plastic bag.

About 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the water rescue team located Wheeler's body wrapped in a blue tarp with concrete blocks wired to his body in water less than 2 feet deep.

His body was found near a section of the old De Soto bridge. The team had first went past the body and then found it when they went back to the original spot. The body and blocks had been partially covered in sand, authorities said.

One of the defendants, according to records, has family near the area in southern Leavenworth County.

At the time of his death, Wheeler was serving probation for a conviction of felony obstruction of the legal process. Authorities said there was no correlation between Wheeler's death and the conviction.

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