July 24, 2013

Brothers plead guilty in killing of Overland Park man and four others in Denver bar

Robbery was believed to be the motive in the crime, which occurred last October. A fire was set to destroy evidence.

Two brothers accused of killing an Overland Park man and four others during a robbery at a Denver bar and then setting the building on fire to destroy evidence have pleaded guilty in deals with prosecutors.

Joseph Hill, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of first-degree murder and will be sentenced to life in prison at a hearing Oct. 3.

Lynell Hill, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder naming all five victims, aggravated robbery and first-degree arson. His plea agreement stipulates a 70-year prison term.

Investigators say the robbery in October 2012 was motivated by Lynell Hill’s need for money to pay for an unrelated court case. The group allegedly left the bar with about $170.

Killed were Ross Richter, 29, of Overland Park; bar owner Young Suk Fero, 63; and Denver residents Daria M. Pohl, 21; Kellene Fallon, 44, and Tereasa Beesley, 45.

Richter was an Eagle Scout and a 2001 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School, his family told The Star at the time of the killings.

He graduated from Kansas State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in park management and conservation and was working for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Colorado.

A third defendant, Dexter Lewis, 23, is also charged in the fatal stabbings and cover-up fire at Fero’s Bar and Grill in October. He could face the death penalty, the Denver Post reported. The district attorney has until Friday to decide.

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