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Kansan Sentenced In Scheme That Led To Arson Death

Associated Press - August 13, 2013 7:57 am

A Kansas prosecutor says the death penalty "is on the table" in the case of two people who investigators say fled to Mexico as suspects in a triple homicide last October.

A man involved in a convenience store robbery that set off a chain of events leading to the death of a Kansas State University researcher has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

23-year-old Frank Joseph Hanson of Manhattan pleaded guilty earlier this year to brandishing a weapon during a robbery at the convenience store in Manhattan. Hanson was sentenced Monday to 42 months in prison.

After the robbery, two other people set a fire at a Manhattan apartment complex to distract police investigating the robbery. The fire killed 34-year-old Vasanta Pallem, a postdoctoral researcher in chemical engineering at Kansas State.

Hanson was one of five people charged in incidents Feb. 6 that led to the fire. Three others have been sentenced, one awaits trial.

Associated Press information from: KAKE-TV