Skip to comments.Judge confirms death penalty [Wichita Massacre]
Posted on 11/16/2002 5:15:22 AM PST by KS Flyover
WICHITA -- Even though a jury sentenced Reginald and Jonathan Carr to die for shooting four friends in the back of the head two years ago, it is a punishment that pales in comparison to the crimes they committed, the sole survivor of the slayings told a court on Friday.
Jonathan and Reginald Carr
The Associated Press
"The sentence imposed on them will be a much kinder sentence than they imposed on me, my friends and all our families," she said.
Her words came on the same day Sedgwick County District Judge Paul Clark followed a jury's recommendation and sentenced Reginald Carr, 25, and his brother Jonathan, 22, to death by injection for killing three men and a woman on Dec. 15, 2000, as they knelt side-by-side in a snow-covered soccer field.
The Carrs were convicted last week of capital murder in the deaths of Aaron Sander, 29, Brad Heyka, 27, Jason Befort, 26, and Heather Muller, 25.
Befort's girlfriend, then a 25-year-old teacher, survived and ran through the snow naked to seek help. She was among the key witnesses at the trial, which began more than two months ago.
The five friends were at a Wichita home when two armed intruders forced them to engage in sex with each other, then made them withdraw money from automated teller machines. The two women were raped repeatedly before the five were taken to the soccer field and shot.
"I had no choice in what Reginald and Jonathan Carr did that night. I wasn't given a choice to save Brad or Aaron or Heather or Jason," the survivor said. "I had a choice to lie there and die or get up and live. I choose to live. And I still chose to live."
Clark also sentenced both brothers to life in prison, with no possibility of parole for 20 years, in the death of Ann Walenta, 55, a cellist with the Wichita Symphony. She was shot four days before the quadruple killings.
Reginald Carr was also sentenced to an additional 47 years in prison for his conviction on other crimes, and Jonathan Carr was sentenced to an additional 41 years on other convictions. The sentences are to run consecutively.
The brothers showed no visible emotion when the judge pronounced the sentences Friday on the 93 crimes the brothers were convicted of committing during the nine-day crime spree. Jonathan Carr looked down as the victims' families gave impact statements to the court, while his brother stared ahead.
Neither man spoke on their own behalf before they were sentenced.
At times struggling to hold back sobs, the survivor of the quadruple killing told a packed courtroom she still paces at night when she hears noises. She said she is careful to blow-dry her hair to cover the spot where the bullet hit her skull, now a bald spot that no longer grows hair. She says whenever she sees the carpet burns that still scar her knees she is reminded of the rapes.
The diamond engagement ring Befort had planned to give her for Christmas that year was found in the pocket of Jonathan Carr on the day he was arrested.
She said she can't tell the court the impact the crimes had on her life -- that would take hours.
"My grief is immeasurable, because my happiness was immense," she said.
Larry Heyka, the father of Brad Heyka, said his only son was his best friend.
"No parent should have to bury a child under such circumstances," Heyka said. "I would freely give my life and all my belongings if Brad was alive today."
He said the Carr brothers have shown no remorse the families can see.
"Some part of us has been taken away, and our hearts will be shallow for the rest of our lives," Heyka said.
Elisabeth Daily, Brad Heyka's mother, told the court people who don't believe the devil walks the earth haven't seen the evidence in this case.
Lois Muller, the mother of Heather Muller, said whenever she looks into the eyes of the Carr brothers she sees a hardness and hollowness. Muller said the trial has been so difficult sometimes she felt like her heart would burst from the pain.
"How much more can I hear, how much more can I take," she said. "I know Heather is in heaven, but I wasn't ready for it to be so soon."
Andy Schreiber was abducted on Dec. 7 and forced to withdraw money from ATM machines before he was left unharmed beside a road, the tire on his car shot out. The shell casing found at that robbery was linked to the single homicide and the quadruple killing days later. Reginald Carr was convicted in that crime, while his brother Jonathan was found innocent of it.
Schreiber told the court even though he didn't know the other victims, he has feelings of guilt because he lived and they didn't.
"It is not vengeance I seek -- it is justice," he told the court.
Bill Sander, the father of Aaron Sander, told reporters after the sentencing the four victims of the quadruple killing all thought Wichita was a good place to live.
"Wichita has got to get over the fear the Carr brothers instilled," Sander said.
In a news conference after the sentencing, several family members said they believed in the death penalty. Mark Befort, the brother of Jason Befort, said he spent the night the jury returned the death penalty verdicts looking up Bible verses dealing with punishment.
" 'An eye for an eye' tells you when you kill another human being, you pay," he said.
When the jury delivered its verdict Thursday, Befort sarcastically wished Reginald Carr a "happy birthday" followed by an expletive. As he was being led away, Carr's response was laced with profanity. Thursday was Reginald Carr's 25th birthday.
Befort told reporters the next day that it was difficult for him to sit quietly when throughout the trial while the Carr brothers would often turn around -- winking and smirking at his mother and sister.
"I bit my lip for 23 months and I had to have one sentence in one day -- I don't think that is too despicable an act," he said.
"Wichita Massacre" Posts:
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Scott McConnell: "Unfit to Print" - 01/10/2001
THE WICHITA HORROR - 01/13/2001
DA, Public Interest Clash Over Records (Wichita multiple murder) - 01/13/2001
Court seals case files in Wichita quadruple homicides - 01/14/2001
Lawyer asks to close pretrial proceedings (Update on The Wichita Horror) - 01/17/2001
Lawyers brawl over records (Wichita Horror/Quadruple Homicide) - 01/27/2001
BLOODY KANSAS: HATE CRIMES IN WICHITA? - 02/12/2001
Hate Crimes: A One-Way Street? - 03/05/2001
Carrs (Wichita Horror) to have joint preliminary hearing - 04/14/2001
The Wichita Massacre - 07/16/2002 - [Details about the murders]
BLACK RACISM: THE HATE CRIME THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME - 07/16/2002
'Wichita Horror' trial to begin - 09/09/2002
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Wichita Massacre Trial Threads:
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Deputy recalls moment of discovering bodies [Wichita Murders] Day 1 - 10/07/02
WICHITA MASSACRE TRIAL UNDERWAY Day 1 - 10/08/02
Legal wrangling opens Carr trial [Wichita Murders] Day 1 - 10/08/02
Carr trial: Survivor describes sexual attacks by armed intruders [Wichita Massacre] Day 2 - 10/09/02
Witchita Case of Black Racist Crime Survivor's testimony horrifies courtroom Day 2 - 10/10/02
Woman testifies that Carrs killed her friends in a soccer field [Wichita Massacre Day 3] - 10/10/02
Prosecutors Downplay Racial Element in Kansas Murder Trial - 10/11/02
Reginald Carr had $996, victims' credit card, watch [Wichita Massacre Day 4] - 10/11/02
Wichita Massacre Audio of 911 Call by Female Survivor with Court Room Video Footage From Day 1- 10/11/02
Victims' belongings linked to defendant [Wichita Massacre Day 5] - 10/12/02
Trial opens window into night of fear - 10/13/02
Media Ignore Kansas Interracial Mass Murder - 10/14/02
AP Finally Reports Wichita Trial... But Mentions "White Supremacist" Support - 10/14/02
Nosey mom tips off cops (Wichita Massacre) Day 6 - 10/15/02
'I was afraid,' witness says [Wichita Massacre Day 6] - 10/15/02
ATM photos shown in Carr trial [Wichita Massacre Day 7] - 10/16/02
Testimony on cellist slaying fills Carr trial [Wichita Massacre Day 8] - 10/17/02
Survivor says she caught STD [Wichita Massacre Day 9] - 10/18/02
Carr trial to focus on guns and DNA [Wichita Massacre Day 10] - 10/19/02
Luck, vivid memories helped cops [Wichita Massacre] - 10/20/02
Wichita Massacre -- The Latest in the Black Racist Hate Crime Trial - Carrs linked to crime scene - Day 11 - 10/22/02
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Jurors view Wichita crime scenes / DNA ties Carrs to victims [Wichita Massacre day 13] - 10/24/02
State to rest case against the Carrs [Wichita Massacre Day 14] - 10/25/02
State rests; Carrs begin their side [Wichita Massacre Day 15] - 10/26/02
DNA lets the dead speak in Carr trial [Wichita Massacre] - 10/27/02
Carr jurors get break as deliberation rules ironed out [Wichita Massacre] - 10/28/02
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Wichita Massacre Ping
Maybe, if they're like Mumia, they can get their own TV or radio show. You know, a light-hearted variety hour or morality play.
Only band they're gonna have is the one around them when they are strapped on the table.
That says it all.
The Feds seemed to get the job done with McVeigh very quickly. Why is it they could execute McVeigh in a couple of years but the state ones seem to drag on for decades?
Strange, isn't it?
McVeigh attacked the Feds.