Feb 12, 2020 11:00 PM

Kansas man dies after crash blamed on bad weather

Posted Feb 12, 2020 11:00 PM

WOODSON COUNTY — One person died in an accident just before 8 a.m. Wednesday in Woodson County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2008 Chevy Express van driven by Jeffrey A. Frericks, 52, Marshalltown, Iowa, was westbound on U.S. Highway 54 two miles east of Yates Center.

The driver lost control due to the weather and struck an eastbound 2001 Dodge Ram truck driven by Robert E. Cochran, 58, Yates Center.

Cochran was pronounced dead at the scene and was transported to Cheney Witt Funeral Home.

EMS transported Frericks to a hospital in Topeka. Cochran was not wearing a seat belt, according to the KHP.

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Feb 12, 2020 11:00 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.