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The parents of a 1-year old child who was left in an apartment closet last spring made their first appearances Wednesday in Sedgwick County District Court.

Destiny Lee, 18, and Donivan Turner, 19, were charged with misdemeanor endangering a child. Judge Joe Kisner entered a plea of not guilty on their behalf. Lee’s bond is set at $2,500, and Turner’s bond is $3,500.

A maintenance worker found the couple’s 1-year-old son in a hot closet of a third-floor apartment on May 7. Lee had driven Turner to his job in west Wichita, police said at the time, and left the child at the Twin Rivers Apartments near 21st and Amidon. The worker was looking for the breaker box in the closet because the air conditioning had been out for a couple of days.

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Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:32 CDT

Juan Pablo Gandara-Rodela made his first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court on Wednesday afternoon, but was not formally charged in a weekend accident that killed three people in west Wichita.

“I don’t understand English very well,” Gandara-Rodela, 31, told Sedgwick County District Court Judge Joe Kisner.

A Spanish translator wasn’t available, so the charges against Gandara-Rodela will be formally filed on Thursday. He is expected to be charged with three counts of second-degree murder or three alternative counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of aggravated battery.

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Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:33 CDT

Prosecutors have charged a Wichita man whose 10-month-old foster daughter died after she was left in a hot car outside her home with one count of first-degree felony murder.

Seth Michael Jackson, 29, appeared calm as he listened to Sedgwick County District Judge Joe Kisner advise him of the charge during his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon. The count alleges the girl’s death occurred within the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The underlying crime alleged is aggravated endangerment of a child. The endangerment allegation means recklessly causing or permitting a child to be in a situation where his or her life is in danger, District Attorney Marc Bennett said.

Bennett’s office also filed an alternative charge of second-degree reckless murder. That count alleges Jackson unintentionally killed the girl “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

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Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:01 CDT
Last Refreshed 7/31/2014 9:05:17 AM