Man convicted in shooting that killed 1, wounded NFL player

Mar 25, 2022, 3:34 PM | Updated: Mar 26, 2022, 6:23 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A jury on Friday convicted a man of killing a college football player in Kansas and wounding another player who recovered and now plays for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.

Francisco “Franky” Mendez, 21, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the April 28, 2019, death of Dwane Simmons, 23, a cornerback for Washburn University in Topeka.

Mendez was also convicted on four counts of attempted murder for shooting at Washburn players Corey Ballentine, Channon Ross, Kevin Neal Jr. and J.J. Letcher Jr., wounding Ballentine, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The shooting occurred hours after Ballentine was drafted by the New York Giants. He recovered and now plays for the Atlanta Falcons. The other three men were not injured.

Testimony at the trial indicated Simmons and Ballentine were shot as they stood outside a Topeka house where they had attended a party to celebrate Ballentine being drafted. A car driven by Mendez pulled up and asked the group if they had any marijuana.

When the players said they didn’t, another person in the car asked the players’ names and one player said something along the lines of, ‘Don’t worry about all that,'” witnesses said.

Mendez pulled the car forward and then stopped, and its occupants got out and fired at least 19 shots at the players, witnesses said. The car had been stolen in a carjacking earlier in the evening.

Simmons died at the scene. The other players ran as the shooters walked toward them, a witness said.

Deputy Shawnee County District Attorney Charles Kitt said the shooting occurred because Mendez and the three other people in the car felt they had been disrespected by the football players.

The other occupants of the car have not been identified and no one else has been charged in the case, which remains under investigation.

Mendez was also convicted on seven counts of aggravated robbery linked to crimes committed in the days before and after Simmons was killed.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The damaged structure is seen at the scene of a fire at the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple in Springva...
Associated Press

Fire extensively damages Buddhist temple in Australian city

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Buddhist temple has been extensively damaged by fire in the Australian city of Melbourne. About 80 firefighters fought the blaze at the Bright Moon Buddhist Temple for more than two hours before it was brought under control late Sunday. Spot fires were still being put out Monday. There were no […]
19 minutes ago
Associated Press

Pakistan blocks Wikipedia for ‘hurting Muslim sentiment’

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s media regulator said Monday it blocked Wikipedia services in the country for hurting Muslim sentiment by not removing purportedly blasphemous content from the site. Blasphemy is a sensitive subject and carries the death penalty in Pakistan, where even allegations of the offense are often enough to provoke mob violence. International and […]
19 minutes ago
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headqu...
Associated Press

Asian stocks sink after US jobs data fan rate hike fears

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets sank Monday after strong U.S. jobs data fanned fears of more interest rate hikes to cool inflation. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul retreated. Tokyo gained. Oil prices rose. Wall Street wilted Friday after official data showed U.S. employers hired twice as many people in January as the previous month. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

This Week: Disney earnings, unemployment, consumer sentiment

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: Disney reports earnings Entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. will report its latest financial results on Wednesday. Analysts polled by FactSet expect the company to report a drop in profit during its fiscal first quarter following a disappointing round of results […]
1 day ago
FILE - Farmers plant rice using rice seedling transplanter at Chongsan Cooperative Farm in Kangso D...
Associated Press

North Korea party meeting set to discuss ‘urgent’ food issue

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has scheduled a major political conference to discuss the “urgent task” of improving its agricultural sector, a possible sign of worsening food insecurity as the country’s economic isolation deepens amid a defiant nuclear weapons push. North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency said Monday that members of the […]
1 day ago
Currency traders work at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seo...
Associated Press

Asian stocks sink after US jobs data fan rate hike fears

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets sank Monday after strong U.S. jobs data fanned fears of more interest rate hikes to cool inflation. Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul retreated. Tokyo gained. Oil prices edged higher. Wall Street wilted Friday after official data showed U.S. employers hired twice as many people in January as the previous […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Man convicted in shooting that killed 1, wounded NFL player