clearn.png
Wednesday July 6th, 2022 3:28AM

Man convicted in shooting that killed 1, wounded NFL player

By The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A jury on Friday convicted a man of killing a college football player in Kansas and wounding another player who recovered and now plays for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.

Francisco “Franky” Mendez, 21, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the April 28, 2019, death of Dwane Simmons, 23, a cornerback for Washburn University in Topeka.

Mendez was also convicted on four counts of attempted murder for shooting at Washburn players Corey Ballentine, Channon Ross, Kevin Neal Jr. and J.J. Letcher Jr., wounding Ballentine, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The shooting occurred hours after Ballentine was drafted by the New York Giants. He recovered and now plays for the Atlanta Falcons. The other three men were not injured.

Testimony at the trial indicated Simmons and Ballentine were shot as they stood outside a Topeka house where they had attended a party to celebrate Ballentine being drafted. A car driven by Mendez pulled up and asked the group if they had any marijuana.

When the players said they didn’t, another person in the car asked the players’ names and one player said something along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry about all that,’” witnesses said.

Mendez pulled the car forward and then stopped, and its occupants got out and fired at least 19 shots at the players, witnesses said. The car had been stolen in a carjacking earlier in the evening.

Simmons died at the scene. The other players ran as the shooters walked toward them, a witness said.

Deputy Shawnee County District Attorney Charles Kitt said the shooting occurred because Mendez and the three other people in the car felt they had been disrespected by the football players.

The other occupants of the car have not been identified and no one else has been charged in the case, which remains under investigation.

Mendez was also convicted on seven counts of aggravated robbery linked to crimes committed in the days before and after Simmons was killed.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, College Sports, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ukraine reports 300 dead in airstrike on Mariupol theater
Ukrainian authorities say about 300 people were killed in the Russian airstrike last week that blasted open a Mariupol theater
6:47PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Justices decide for themselves when to step aside from cases
Reports that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas implored Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff to act to overturn the 2020 election results have put a spotlight on how justices decide whether to step aside from a case
6:36PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Teen falls to death from Florida amusement park ride
A 14-year-old boy fell to his death from a free-fall amusement park ride that's taller than the Statue of Liberty along a busy street in the heart of Orlando, Florida’s, tourist district
6:32PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Two-way star Ohtani chosen as Angels' opening day pitcher
The full Shohei Ohtani experience will be on display when the Los Angeles Angels take the field on opening day
5:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Column: Baseball & Oscars fight losing battle for relevancy
Yes, folks, dinosaurs do still roam the Earth
5:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Scheffler goes 6 extra holes to win a playoff
For the second year in a row, Scottie Scheffler had to go extra holes to win his group in the Dell Technologies Match Play
5:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Watson visits Browns as 2nd grand jury declines to indict
A second grand jury in Texas has declined to indict new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 22 women and still faces civil lawsuits
8:03PM ( 22 hours ago )
Denver Broncos stadium fire torches seats, suite area
Firefighters have extinguished a blaze that torched several rows of seats and a suite area at the Denver Broncos’ stadium
7:21PM ( 23 hours ago )
SEC names David Cutcliffe special assistant to commissioner
Former Mississippi and Duke coach David Cutcliffe has joined the Southeastern Conference as special assistant to the commissioner for football relations
1:31PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Busted brackets mark another topsy-turvy NCAA tourney
There were 17.3 million brackets filled out in ESPN's Tournament Challenge this year, and the quest for a perfect one was done before the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament
3:29PM ( 3 hours ago )
UMass hires Frank Martin as new basketball coach
UMass has found a leader for its basketball program, hiring Frank Martin as its new coach
3:28PM ( 3 hours ago )
Sweet 16: Coach K says 'It's not the coaching.' But it is
Duke keeps winning games in the NCAA Tournament and Mike Krzyzewski keeps telling anyone who will listen, “It’s not the coaching.”
3:57AM ( 15 hours ago )
College Sports
AP Explains: Why the 14th Amendment has surfaced in midterms
Some attorneys and voters are using a rarely cited section of the 14th Amendment dealing with insurrection to try to stop some U.S. House members from running for re-election this year
4:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
Braves lefty Lee far removed from spotlight of World Series
Five months later, the Atlanta Braves’ decision to have Dylan Lee start last season’s World Series Game 4 against Houston is still shocking
3:20PM ( 3 hours ago )
Ga. gov applauds completion of Savannah harbor expansion
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is celebrating what he calls a “once in a generation milestone” _ the completion of a $973 million expansion of the shipping channel that links one of the busiest U.S. seaports to the Atlantic Ocean
3:08PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Top colleges accused of violating Black athletes' rights
The National College Players Association says NCAA Division I schools are violating the civil rights of Black basketball and major college football players by prohibiting compensation
1:07PM ( 3 days ago )
March Madness descends on women's NCAA Tournament
March Madness is finally part of the women’s NCAA Tournament vernacular and the first round has so far aptly fit that phrase
12:32AM ( 5 days ago )
ESPN treats NCAA Women's Tournament as premier event
ESPN has treated the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament on the same level as the College Football Playoff and “Monday Night Football.”
2:39AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Sacked: Mayfield waits as Browns look to trade unwanted QB
Baker Mayfield was once the No. 1 overall pick
12:29PM ( 2 days ago )
OL Terron Armstead says he's signing with Miami Dolphins
Terron Armstead has become the Miami Dolphins’ latest big free agent move, announcing that he’s joining the team after spending his first nine NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints
9:03PM ( 2 days ago )
Ryan eager for new start in Indy after 14 seasons in Atlanta
New Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan is ready for a change
4:55PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Ukraine reports 300 dead in airstrike on Mariupol theater
Ukrainian authorities say about 300 people were killed in the Russian airstrike last week that blasted open a Mariupol theater
6:47PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Justices decide for themselves when to step aside from cases
Reports that the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas implored Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff to act to overturn the 2020 election results have put a spotlight on how justices decide whether to step aside from a case
6:36PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Teen falls to death from Florida amusement park ride
A 14-year-old boy fell to his death from a free-fall amusement park ride that's taller than the Statue of Liberty along a busy street in the heart of Orlando, Florida’s, tourist district
6:32PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Arizona Legislature approves 15-week abortion ban
The Arizona Legislature has approved a ban on abortion after 15 weeks
6:23PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Live updates: AP finds over 30 attacks on medical facilities
The Associated Press has independently documented more than 30 assaults on Ukrainian medical facilities by Russian forces
6:14PM ( 45 minutes ago )