The Kansas Supreme Court will hear an appeal next week in an Ottawa County murder case. The case involves the 2017 murder of Matthew Schoshke.
On Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, Schoshke’s body was discovered by a family member in his bathroom in his Tescott area home. He had been shot five times with his own gun.
Schoshke’s Ford F150 pickup truck was stolen from the scene.
Authorities attempted various investigative methods to locate the missing truck. They received information which led them to believe the victim’s truck may have been located in the city of Los Angeles, California.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents and Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman traveled to California. They collected evidence from the abandoned truck and were also able to identify Robert Willard Colson as the suspect.
KBI agents, the Sheriff, and Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives were working to locate Colson, but prior to identifying his location he was involved in an incident in Martinez, Calif. During this incident he allegedly stabbed a person while aboard an Amtrak train. Colson was attempting to escape from the train.
A jury in Ottawa County convicted Colson of first-degree felony murder, two counts of theft, and burglary. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Issues on appeal are whether:
- There is sufficient evidence to support Colson’s convictions.
- Colson’s convictions required the jury to engage in improper inference stacking.
- There is sufficient evidence of felony murder.
- The district court erred in denying Colson’s requests for lesser included instructions of voluntary manslaughter.
Kansas Supreme Court Justices will hear the appeal next week on Tuesday.
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Kansas Department of Corrections photo of Robert Willard Colson