Shooting suspect facing first-degree murder charge in death of Hesston teen

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By Adam Strunk
The 16-year-old Newton male accused of shooting and killing Madison Parrott, 14, of Hesston will face charges of one count each of alleged first-degree murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and criminal threat.

County Attorney Jason Lane’s office made the announcement Tuesday, July 13. The release stated that Parrott was found with one gunshot wound in the 900 Block of S. Walnut on the evening of July 11 and was pronounced dead on the scene. The release did not include the name of the juvenile charged with the crimes.

Harvey County Communications Director Kyle McCaskey said if the suspect will be charged as a juvenile or adult has yet to be determined. A first hearing will take place Wednesday, July 14.

Newton police continue to investigate the crime and announced Tuesday that they recovered the handgun they believe to have been used in the crime and are having DNA test done on the gun as well as the suspect’s clothing tested through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is also involved with the case, tracing the last known owner of the handgun used and investigating how the 16-year-old suspect acquired the gun.

According to police, the shooting took place at a gathering of teenagers in Newton on July 11.
“We’re still trying to figure out the motive of why,” Newton Deputy Police Chief Scott Powell said Monday. “That’s part of what we’re trying to investigate.”
Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 900 Block of S Walnut in Newton shortly after 10 p.m. and found a victim, a 14-year-old female, dead. After interviewing witnesses and a search the following day, they arrested a 16-year-old Newton male on suspicion of the murder.
Powell said, from interviews, police think that there were between three and five people in the house at the time of the shooting.
“It was a very small gathering,” Powell said. “The suspect showed up, started waving a gun.”
Powell said witnesses reported the suspect being intoxicated at the time.
The suspect then shot the victim. Powell declined to say how many times the suspect shot the gun.
He said no adults were at the house at the time. He did say there was no indication that the gathering of the juveniles was “a drinking party.” Powell didn’t have any answers yet as to the relationship of those involved.
“They found themselves at the same house at the same time,” he said. “We don’t know if they knew each other in the past. We know they must have had common friends at the time.”
He said the arrest of the suspect occurred peacefully.
“We got information where the suspect was. We’ve obviously been looking for him since 10 last night,” he said on Monday.
Powell said the individual was being held on pending charges for murder, though he didn’t know the specific charge at that time.
The names of the suspect and victim were not originally released. The Newton Police Department, as policy, does not release the names of juveniles involved in criminal cases, nor the names of the victims of crimes. The family of Madison Parrott publicly released a statement identifying her as the victim, which is why her name is listed in the article.
Powell said his department feels “the shock of how tragic it is to lose someone that young for something that is avoidable.”
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