Kansan pleads no contest to felony murder

Gavel

ERIE, Kan. (AP) – A second defendant has pleaded no contest in last year’s arson death of a southeast Kansas woman.

The Chanute Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1hsGtjc ) Brian Shields entered the plea to felony murder Thursday in Neosho County District Court.

Co-defendant Michelle Voorhees pleaded no contest Jan. 15 to second-degree murder and agreed to testify against Shields.

Both were accused in the smoke inhalation death of 36-year-old Cristy Wiles. Wiles’ remains were found last Feb. 6 in the rubble of a Chanute home.

Prosecutors said the defendants went to the house to retrieve property stolen from Voorhees. County Attorney Linus Thuston said the two ran out of the house after Shields placed a pipe bomb on a mattress and lit the fuse.

The device did not explode, but set fire to the house.

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