Feb 12, 2020 5:59 PM

Kansas woman dies after head-on crash

Posted Feb 12, 2020 5:59 PM

WOODSON COUNTY— One person died in an accident just after 7:30a.m. Wednesday in Woodson County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2007 Buick passenger car driven by Laura L. Hegwald, 48, Yates Center, was southbound on U.S. 75  two miles south of Yates Center.

The driver lost control of the vehicle. It spun and the rear of the Buick struck a 2016 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Michelle L. Lever, 38, Neodesha, head-on.

Hegwald was pronounced dead at the scene and was transported to Jones-Campbell Funeral Home in Burlington. Lever was not injured.  Both drivers were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.

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Feb 12, 2020 5:59 PM
Ex-Kan. prison lab instructor wants sex crime conviction thrown out
Tomas Co photo Texas County

TOPEKA, KAN. (AP) — A former prison dental instructor who was found guilty earlier this month of one count of unlawful sexual relations with an inmate is asking a judge to throw out the conviction.

Tomas Co was convicted on one charge and found not guilty of five other charges alleging he abused female inmates working in the dental lab at the Topeka Correctional Facility.

The conviction was for a woman who said Co touched the inside of her knee and thigh.

In a motion filed Friday, Co's attorney, Chris Joseph, argued that type of touching doesn’t constitute “lewd” touching under state law. The motion also asks Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios to acquit Co based on insufficient evidence, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Joseph said he also plans to seek probation for Co, rather than the 31 to 136 months of prison time he is facing.

District Attorney Mike Kagay said his office would file arguments in response to the defense motion.

Inmates in the dental lab complained for five years about alleged sexual harassment and unwanted touching by Co, who was dismissed in December 2018.