Authorities held a press conference Friday afternoon to release information on the triple homicide near Alta Mills.
HESSTON — Two suspects arrested in connection with three homicides near Moundridge in October await extradition, and could face a death sentence.
“That is on the table,” Harvey County Prosecutor David Yoder said. “The alternative is a possibility of life without parole.”
Both 35-year-old Jereme Lee Nelson and 31-year-old Myrta Rangel were arrested Jan. 12 near Rosarito, Mexico, by Mexican authorities on warrants connected to the murders. Both have signed a waiver of extradition and are currently detained San Diego.
Yoder said during a Friday press conference that each suspect could face not only a death penalty but three sentences of at least 50 years in prison with a maximum of a life sentence. The press conference, which included newly elected Sheriff Chad Gay, Deputy County Attorney Jason Lane and Kansas Bureau of Investigation Senior Special Agent Greg Skelton, lasted about five minutes. No questions were accepted.
“It is still an active investigation,” Yoder said. “We are still interviewing witnesses and persons of interest who may have information in the case. We are still reviewing evidence. We have issued numerous search warrants in the case and search warrants are still being issued in the matter. It is an active investigation. … Further information will be divulged when we get it.”
Nelson and Rangel each face one count of capital murder and three counts of first-degree murder charges, filed by the Harvey County prosecutor in November. No hearings in the case have been scheduled as of yet.
“The defendants are back here at this time,” Yoder said. “We anticipate that they will be here in the very near future. Transportation arrangements are being made at this time.”
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Travis Street, 33, of Moundridge; Angela May Graevs, 37, of Moundridge; and Richard Prouty, 52, of Newton were found dead in a driveway in the 8600 block of Spring Lake Road near Alta Mills, between Hesston and Moundridge on Oct. 30.
At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30, a motorist called 911 and said she had been waved down by a maroon vehicle. She told dispatchers she had been told there were two bodies in the driveway of a home on Spring Lake Road.
According to the sheriff's department, investigators found three bodies in the driveway and an 18-month-old-baby in the house. The then Sheriff T. Walton said that the deaths had happened "earlier in the day," estimating a time of death of about 11 a.m.
He said he believed the shootings took place outside of the house. The child's parents were among the victims of the shooting. The child was taken to other family for care.
Nelson and Rangel have been convicted of drug offenses in the past, Rangel was convicted of a possession of opiates charge in Sedgwick County in 2006. While in the Topeka Correctional Facility, she was reported for disruptive behavior. According to a report from the Kansas Department of Corrections, Nelson has prior convictions for meth, firearms, burglary, and theft. He is also listed as an absconder.