Dec 02, 2019 5:20 PM

Kansas felon captured after high-speed chase, crash

Posted Dec 02, 2019 5:20 PM

Kristofer Allen Photo Saline County


SALINE COUNTY — Law enforcement authorities are investigating a Kansas felon on new charges after a high-speed chase in Saline County.


Just before 8 p.m. Friday, an officer at the intersection of South Broadway Boulevard and West Crawford Street in Salina observed a northbound dark-colored passenger car with a temporary tag and without its lights on making a left turn onto West Crawford Street, according to Salina Police Captain Paul Forrester. The officer initiated a traffic stop and the car stopped in the 700 block of Cherokee Drive.


As the officer got out of the patrol car, the suspect car took off south on Cherokee Drive and then turned right on Choctaw Avenue, heading back to West Crawford Street at speeds of up to 60 mph, he said. The car then headed west on West Crawford Street, and as it crossed Interstate Interstate 35, it accelerated to 95 mph, according to Forrester. At that point, the officer terminated pursuit.


Then just before 2a.m. Sunday, an officer spotted a 2006 black Nissan Altima with a 60-day tag traveling southbound in the 600 block of South Fifth Street, Forrester said. The vehicle turned west onto West Crawford Street with the officer following, he said. The officer attempted to make a traffic stop at West Crawford Street and Whittinghill Avenue, but the Altima accelerated to speeds in excess of 80 mph and continued west on West Crawford Street. The officer terminated pursuit in the 2700 block and a Saline County Sheriff's deputy picked up the pursuit until the suspect driver identified as Kristopher Allen, 22, Salina, lost control and traveled into the ditch in the 4000 block of West Crawford Street, according to Saline County Sheriff Roger Soldan.


The car became stuck in the ditch and had to be towed from the scene.


Deputies arrested Allen who was not injured, on requested charges that include, Flee and elude, Possession of methamphetamine, Possession of marijuana, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Driving while suspended and Speeding. He has previous convictions for drugs and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

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Dec 02, 2019 5:20 PM
Man who says he was banned from Kansas may return after deal



Bo Dana Rupert photo Montgomery County


By ROXANA HEGEMAN


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man who claims he was banished from Kansas as a condition of a plea deal could be allowed back in the state under an agreement reached Monday, although a county prosecutor disputes that he was ever banned from returning.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas said in a news release that it has agreed to drop a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of Bo Dana Rupert in exchange for an amended Montgomery County plea agreement in a related criminal case against him.


Court transcripts show Rupert pleaded no contest in 2017 to three felony counts of making a criminal threat and three misdemeanor counts of filing a false report. He was sentenced to 12 months of probation, and the judge accepted a plea agreement under which Rupert agreed to leave Kansas and never return. It is unclear from the court transcript whether the judge intended to specifically include that provision as part of his sentence.


That 2017 plea agreement explicitly stated Rupert was not to return to Kansas: “If the defendant does return to Kansas then the terms of this agreement have been violated and the County Attorney may consider filing all other charges for additional offenses not filed now.”


But on Monday, Montgomery County Attorney Larry Markle vehemently pushed back against the ACLU’s claim that Rupert was banished. Markle shared with The Associated Press a sworn affidavit from Rupert’s criminal defense attorney stating it was Rupert who came up with the idea to put a stipulation in the plea agreement that he transfer his probation to another state and not return to Kansas, or risk new charges.

“The bottom line is that Rupert was not ‘BANISHED,’” Markle said in an email.


Rupert left Kansas the day after his sentencing and has never returned, according to the ACLU. The group said in its filing that his then attorney advised him: "Don't still be here tomorrow when the sun comes up." That attorney, Heath Lampson, disputes ever giving him that advice.


Two weeks after he was sentenced, Montgomery County issued an arrest warrant for Rupert stating he had violated the terms of his probation by not attending his probation meetings in Kansas.


The ACLU said in a court filing that the banishment was reminiscent of punishments in the days of the Wild West, when convicted criminals were dropped at the state line and warned to never return in a practice called "sundown probation;" and in ancient Greece, where people convicted of homicide or embarrassing military defeat were sent into exile.


Rupert contends in a court filing that he has been unable to return to Kansas for fear of violating the plea agreement.

Under the civil settlement, Markle agreed not to prosecute Rupert for being an absconder.


Markle said court probation officers were ready to testify under oath that they specifically told Rupert he could not leave the state until the interstate process had been completed for his probation. He released to AP a recording in which Rupert can be heard telling a law enforcement official that he was leaving Kansas for a good-paying job in Texas, but that he felt he was being run out of town by police harassment.


“The ACLU either failed to properly investigate this case before filing suit and/or failed to educate themselves on criminal procedure before filing suit, which contains numerous false allegations against the Montgomery County Attorney’s office,” Markle wrote. “The ACLU is more concerned with headlines than the truth.”


“We hope attorneys on both sides will think twice before adding stipulations like this one to ... agreements in the future,” Lauren Bonds, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas, said in a news release. “This was an unusual situation, to say the least.”


In court filings, Markle argued that Rupert never claimed that the county attorney had ever tried to enforce the offending provision.

The ACLU issued a news release stating it was Lampson who prepared the “problematic terms of the plea agreement, not Markle.”

Lampson did not immediately return a message seeking comment.