Sufficient evidence exists to bind over three defendants for trial in a botched robbery that left a Shawnee gun store co-owner dead earlier this year, a Johnson County judge declared Tuesday.
The announcement concluded the second day of a court hearing that featured an assistant district attorney presenting photographs from the She’s A Pistol interior surveillance video system, as well as revealing photos from defendants’ cellphones.
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After the hearing, store co-owner Becky Bieker declared herself pleased with prosecutors’ work and gently rebuffed a request from one defendant’s grandmother to meet with her to express the family’s sympathy for Jon Bieker’s death.
“Not to be disrespectful, but that has no bearing,” Bieker said.
The photographs, displayed by an assistant Johnson County district attorney and described by a Shawnee police detective, buttressed witness testimony that began Monday in the preliminary hearing for three of the four defendants accused in the Jan. 9 shooting.
Prosecutors have charged Deanthony A. Wiley, 20, Londro E. Patterson III, 20, Nicquan K. Midgyett, 20, and Hakeem W. Malik, 18, with first-degree felony murder, attempted aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated battery.
Wiley waived his right to a preliminary hearing Monday and is expected to plead guilty in late August.
Johnson County District Judge Timothy McCarthy scheduled a Sept. 14 motion hearing for the three other defendants.
The surveillance photos show Wiley entering the store Jan. 9 wearing a woman’s wig of long black hair streaked with red, said Detective John Stirling of the Shawnee police.
Patterson soon joins Wiley at the store’s counter. Both point guns at store co-owner Becky Bieker as she stands behind a counter.
Soon a third robber is seen leaping onto the store’s counter and cocking his fist, Stirling said. Then Bieker recoils from an apparent blow to the head.
Ensuing images show Jon Bieker emerging from the store’s rear office pointing a gun at the defendants.
“It appears that she (Becky Bieker) has been struck and Mr. Bieker has come out of his office. … Bieker is responding to the threat to his wife,” Stirling said.
Presenting an image from another perspective, Stirling said one photo showed Wiley, apparently shot, on the store’s floor while Jon Bieker approaches carefully while staying behind the store’s counter.
“Mr. Wiley is on the ground,” Stirling said. “Mr. Bieker takes a tactical approach. … At some point he goes down.”
Though Jon Bieker’s head initially remains upright while he is on the floor, his head soon drops, Stirling said.
Stirling also described evidence extracted from defendants’ cellphones.
Wiley’s cellphone included an apparent selfie of him smiling and wearing the red-streaked wig. It was taken at 12:20 p.m. Jan. 9, less than two hours before the attempted robbery, Stirling said.
A video on another defendant’s cellphone was recorded four days earlier in the She’s A Pistol parking lot. Still another cellphone video appeared to be taken in a parking lot across from The Bullet Hole, an Overland Park shooting range, Stirling said.
“They were casing other locations,” he testified.
Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Riebli noted that the defendants had visited the She’s A Pistol parking lot about 2 p.m. Jan. 5, which was the same time of day they allegedly returned to rob the store four days later.
“They were trying to gauge the traffic,” she said.
Ryan Rezzelle, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office crime scene supervisor, and Jason Butell, firearms examiner, testified to the store’s interior layout and the handguns police recovered after the shooting.
After the hearing, a woman who identified herself as a grandmother to Nicquan Midgyett expressed sympathy for Becky Bieker and asked to meet with her at some point to express the family’s sympathy.
“We are very sorry,” she said.
Bieker, who on Tuesday wore her husband’s wedding band on a chain around her neck, deferred on the offer.
“Logically, I can empathize with where they are coming from,” she said.
“The fact of the matter is that these four individuals took the life of a very amazing man (who) was a benefit to our community. … He was making a difference in this country and those four individuals took that life.
“No apology will change that.”