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Wichita man convicted of murder in drug deal that turned deadly

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, at 1:13 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 1:38 p.m.

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A Wichita man was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder for his role in the April 2012 death of a man who was shot while trying to sell a quarter-pound of marijuana.

Kyle Beltz, 22, will face a term of life without parole for at least 25 years when he is sentenced Jan. 23 by District Judge Greg Waller. A Sedgwick County jury deliberated about five hours before convicting Beltz of murder and attempted distribution of marijuana.

Beltz was one of six people charged in the death of Ronald Betts, 33, of Derby, who was shot as he was trying to sell the marijuana for $1,100 in a house at 446 N. Emporia.

Prosecutors said Beltz lived in the house and was acting as a lookout when three of the would-be buyers were invited inside. The customers did not have the money to buy the marijuana, prosecutors said, and went to the house to try to steal it.

Wichita police said everyone in the room was armed when one of the customers opened fire, touching off a shootout that resulted in Betts’ death.

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