Lenexa murder suspect says he was the victim of a kidnapping

08/02/2014 10:47 AM

08/08/2014 2:38 PM

A man charged in the killings of two Lenexa men last month told police that he killed them after they kidnapped him, according to court documents.

Alex Brune’s statement to detectives appeared in a court affidavit made public this week under a Kansas law that took effect July 1.

Brune, 27, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the July 9 killings of Brian Baskind and Baskind’s stepfather, Clifford Preston.

The victims were found stabbed to death in the basement of a home they shared in the 8500 block of Hallet Street. Brune called police there that night after being shot in the abdomen.

A large knife and a handgun, which the police believe belonged to Preston, were found near the bodies. Police found an Airsoft pistol and a face mask hidden behind a television in the basement. They found black gloves, similar to ones in Brune’s white work van parked outside the home, near the bodies.

After undergoing surgery, Brune told police that he had been at his Lenexa home that night when a stranger knocked on his back door, pointed a gun at him and forced him into his work van. Another man in a black Mercedes convertible was parked near the van, he said.

Brune said they drove him to the house on Hallet and took him into the basement. There, Brune said, he saw a large knife and stabbed both men while trying to escape. He said one of the men shot him during the altercation.

His wife later told police that Brune had left their bedroom to sleep on a couch and that she didn’t hear any disturbance or knocks on the door.

In an effort to verify Brune’s story, Lenexa police obtained surveillance camera footage from businesses in the area.

The affidavit documents 14 sightings of a white work van and a black Mercedes convertible during a roughly one-hour period from when Brune’s wife last saw him and when neighbors reported seeing the work van parked on Hallet.

According to the affidavit, police believe that Baskind was in the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant at 95th Street and Quivira Road about 9 p.m. Around that time, someone saw a white van similar to Brune’s parked outside a grocery store at 87th Street and Pflumm Road.

A few minutes later, a white van headed north on Candlelight Lane from 87th Street toward the subdivision where Preston and Baskind lived. About a minute later, a black Mercedes headed west on 87th toward Candlelight.

Prosecutors say Brune killed the men during a burglary and attempted robbery.

Affidavits like the one released this week became public records only recently in Kansas. Under a new law, prosecutors and defense attorneys can request that the documents remain closed or can suggest that portions be redacted.

District Judge Sara Welch ordered the release of the affidavit over the objections of defense attorneys but noted that she and prosecutors wanted some information kept closed.

Brune is being held in jail on a bond of $2 million.

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