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Man linked to April shooting death arrested after routine traffic stop

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, June 21, 2013, at 12:15 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 1:38 p.m.

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A fourth person has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man during a drug deal in downtown Wichita in late April, police officials said Friday.

John Carter, 18, was arrested at about 9 p.m. Thursday after he was found to be a passenger in a car stopped for a traffic violation in the 1900 block of East 13th Street, Lt. Todd Ojile said. Carter was among multiple suspects still at-large who have been linked to the death of Ronald Betts at an apartment at 446 N. Emporia on the night of April 18.

“They didn’t realize he was in the car” when it was pulled over, Ojile said of the patrol officers.

Police have said three men knocked on the door of the house on Emporia shortly after 9:30 p.m. on April 18 and were allowed inside. Police reports indicate someone in the house knew at least one of the three visitors.

Some sort of altercation erupted, police have said, and numerous shots were fired.

Betts, 33, was hit several times by gunfire and was pronounced dead a short time later at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis. Others were also shot in the altercation.

A 22-year-old man was hit in the leg and a 29-year-old woman was grazed on the arm by a bullet, police have said. The man left the house and went to a house in the 1600 block of South Spruce, where he called police.

He was taken to Wesley Medical Center for treatment and released, police have said. The woman grazed by a bullet was treated at the house on Emporia but did not require a trip to the hospital.

Three men — 21-year-old Kyle Beltz, 22-year-old Kyler Carriker and 20-year-old Lorenzo Spires — have all been charged in connection with Betts’ death. Ojile said detectives will present evidence against Carter to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office early next week.

Police are still looking for multiple suspects in the case, he said.

“A lot of these guys don’t have a permanent address,” Ojile said. “They sleep wherever they can find a bed for that night.

“They have all different ways of hiding from us.”

The Betts case is one of several this year involving multiple suspects, he said.

One of them had six suspects, another four and another five.

“The difficulty lies in just identifying everyone involved...and figuring out what their specific roles were” in the crime, Ojile said.

The two people in the car stopped on Thursday night were arrested on suspicion of charges unrelated to the homicide, police records show.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Find him on Twitter @StanFinger.

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