A man convicted of murdering a Salina teenage girl back in 1984 has died while still incarcerated.
According to Kansas Department of Corrections records, 72-year-old Lonnie McKibben died on Saturday. McKibben was incarcerated at the Lansing Correctional Facility.
McKibben was convicted of 2nd degree murder back in 1985 in connection with the death of 15-year-old Sheleen McLain. McKibben, who was 43-years-old at the time, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison as a habitual violator. He had three previous felony convictions.
According to court records, 15-year-old Sheleen McLlain was found early in the morning on Saturday, November 3, 1984, sitting by a hedgerow in rural McPherson County near Coronado Heights. She was wearing only a cotton top and underwear. She had been shot in the back, and was covered with blood. Records also indicate that McClain had been raped. She had experienced forceful sex within 12 hours of her death. McKibben was not charged with the rape.
McLain, who was found by a passing motorist at around 8:30 in the morning, was first taken to a Lindsborg hospital, and then transported to a Salina hospital. She died about an hour after she arrived at Asbury Hospital.
McKibben was immediately identified as a suspect in the case. He was arrested at a Salina restaurant several hours after McLain died.
According to records from the trial, on the night of Friday, November 2nd, 1984, McKibben had taken McLain and a friend to two football games. He picked the two girls up at 6:30 pm, and drove them to the football games and anywhere else they wanted to go. McKibben took both girls home at around 12:15 am.
Prosecutors alleged that McKibben later went back to McLain’s house.
Key evidence presented at the trial included a witness who saw a man outside McLain’s house at around 1:40 am. He walked around, smoked a cigarette, then sat in a brown Ford Pinto station wagon. McKibben drove a brown Ford Pinto station wagon. The witness left, and when he returned a couple of hours later the man and car were gone.
During the initial interrogation police noticed McKibben was smoking Benson & Hedges cigarettes, and wearing new shoes purchased that day. A near-full pack of Benson & Hedges cigarettes found near McLain’s body, and those recovered from McKibben during the interrogation, both had the same tax stamp number and had been purchased from the same Salina convenience store. McKibben’s old shoes were discovered in a ditch. An analysis showed the possible presence of blood.
The jeans McKibben was wearing at the time of his arrest were also analyzed. The right rear pocket was stained with human blood, Type O, containing two genetic markers. McLain’s blood sample was found to be Type O and contained the same two genetic markers.
One rifle, a .357, was recovered from McKibben’s car when he was arrested. He had given a second rifle, a .284, to a friend earlier that Saturday morning to pawn.
At the conclusion of the trial, McKibben was convicted of 2nd degree murder, and later received the 30 years to life sentence.
Details on his death over the weekend were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.