Archive for Thursday, October 17, 2002

Slain man’s body pulled from river

October 17, 2002

Five people have been charged in the beating death of a Kansas City, Kan., man, whose body was found Sunday in the Kansas River near De Soto.

The Wyandotte County district attorney charged Kyle Cavaness, 19, Bonner Springs; Robert Buehler-May, 19, Overland Park; and Ryan Goldberg, 25, Kansas City, Kan., with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the death of Deangelo L. Wheeler, 25. They're held in the Wyandotte County Jail on a $200,000 bond each.

Michael Dressler, 40, Kansas City, Kan., and Alisha Gray were each charged with aiding a felon and are being held on a $50,000 bond each.

The defendants made their first court appearance on the charges Tuesday. Attorney Brenda Cameron entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Cavaness. A judge scheduled an arraignment hearing for all five defendants on Oct. 22.

Leavenworth County and Overland Park water rescue teams found Wheeler's body Sunday near the Wyandotte Street bridge.

The search began after Kansas City, Kan., police received a tip Saturday that Wheeler, had been killed at a house where Gray and Goldenberg lived in Kansas City, Kan.

Police officers found evidence of foul play in the house, including the victim's blood, authorities said.

Four of the five defendants were arrested Saturday and interviewed by police. Authorities would not say if the defendants confessed to the slaying.

The fifth suspect, Dressler, was later arrested and charged Monday.

Wheeler was allegedly killed during an argument with three of the defendants Goldberg, Buehler-May and Cavaness. According to the coroner's office, Wheeler was severely beaten with baseball bats or blunt objects, and suffocated with a plastic bag.

About 1:30 p.m. Sunday, the water rescue team located Wheeler's body wrapped in a blue tarp with concrete blocks wired to his body in water less than 2 feet deep.

His body was found near a section of the old De Soto bridge. The team had first went past the body and then found it when they went back to the original spot.

One of the defendants, according to records, has family near the area in southern Leavenworth County.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.