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More charges filed against 3 accused in theft from dying woman

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, at 7:19 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, at 8:20 a.m.

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Prosecutors have filed additional charges against three 19-year-olds accused of stealing a wedding ring off of a dying woman’s finger last month.

Daquantrius S. Johnson, Quanique D. Thomas-Hameen and Keith B. Hickles Jr. each now face a robbery charge as well as one count of aggravated burglary and one count of theft in the Dec. 29 robbery of 43-year-old Danielle Zimmerman, who suffered a fatal brain aneurysm in the drive-through lane of a southeast Wichita Taco Bell.

The men initially were charged only with robbery during their first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court on Jan. 8.

Asked about the additional charges filed Wednesday, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett’s office said by e-mail that after further review of the case and evidence, “It was determined the additional charges were warranted.”

In the amended complaint, the aggravated burglary alleges the men entered Zimmerman’s 2008 Nissan Frontier truck without permission and “with the intent to commit a theft” while she was at the Taco Bell, 3725 E. Harry. The robbery charge accuses the trio of using force or threat to steal her ring.

The theft charge alleges the men took her purse, which held her identification, cellphone, checkbook and financial cards – all valued at less than $1,000.

Robbery and aggravated burglary are felonies; the theft charge is a misdemeanor.

Each of the men is being held on $200,000 bond in the case. They are due back in court for preliminary hearings Feb. 13. A Crime Stoppers tip led to their arrests earlier this month.

Police have said Zimmerman’s truck crashed into the speaker box of the drive-through lane on the evening of Dec. 29 after she had gone to get dinner for herself, her husband, Kris, and two teenage sons. As she lay unconscious, thieves stole her purse and the wedding ring from her finger. She died the next day.

Authorities found her purse Dec. 30. The ring is still missing.

Wichita Crime Commission executive director Gordon Bassham said Wednesday that the reward offered for its return has grown to $4,305 – up from the original $2,000 offered by commission members – thanks to private donors. But contributions to the reward fund, as well as leads in the case, have tapered off in recent weeks, he said.

“We haven’t had any additional donations in the last two and a half weeks,” Bassham said.

He said they also “have not had any additional contact with anyone who might have information” about the ring’s whereabouts.

Tips can be submitted by calling 316-267-2111, online at www.wichitacrimestoppers.com, or by texting TIP217 and a message to CRIMES (274637).

Contributions to the wedding ring reward fund may be made by contacting the Crime Commission at 316-267-1235, info@wichitacrimecommission.org or online by going to www.WichitaCrimeCommission.org and clicking on the “donations” link.

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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