Wichita police on Friday honored a man for coming to the aid of a businessman who was shot before being run over on a downtown street.
The award was presented less than two hours after the second of two defendants was sentenced to life in prison for the businessman's murder.
Both events arose from the May 12, 2008, slaying of Jim Collins, whose business, Marquee Motors, built custom luxury cars.
Police said Collins, 55, was shot and abducted from his business in a black Hummer during a botched robbery. He briefly escaped but was shot again and then run over by the Hummer as he lay in the 500 block of South St. Francis.
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Shannon Bogguess, 27, who once worked at the business, and Kedrin Littlejohn, 20, were both convicted of first-degree murder in the case.
In the award ceremony at City Hall, police honored Jeremy Linot with an "outstanding citizen assistance award" for placing himself at great risk in an effort to save Collins' life.
Police said Linot was trying to pull Collins to safety when the defendants sped toward them in the Hummer. Police said Linot was nearly killed.
"I did what I hope what anyone else would do in a similar situation," Linot said after the ceremony.
Across the street at the Sedgwick County Courthouse, Littlejohn was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for more than 40 years.
"I don't have anything to say," he told District Judge Terry Pullman before the sentence was imposed.
During his trial, Littlejohn claimed that he was an unwilling participant in a crime that was hatched entirely by Bogguess. His lawyer asked that the sentences run concurrently, insisting that Littlejohn feared for his life when Bogguess was committing the crimes.
Pullman, however, cited a jury's guilty verdict in ordering Littlejohn to serve consecutive sentences for first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated robbery.
Littlejohn must serve a minimum of 20 years on the murder sentence before he can start serving time on the other counts.
Bogguess was convicted at a bench trial of the same charges, and is serving a life sentence at the Lansing Correctional Facility.
Among those who praised Linot's actions was Jane Collins, Jim Collins' widow.
"It must take a certain personality to jump when such an opportunity presents itself, versus waiting and watching," she said in an e-mail to The Eagle. "He acted courageously and selflessly, and he truly is a hero.
"Mr. Linot's actions almost saved Jim from being run over, and he almost was run over himself. He, too, is the father of children who need his guidance and care. He put his life on the line for my children's fine father, and he did not even know Jim.
"Additionally, he was there with Jim during those horrifying moments at the end of his life. He spoke comfortingly to Jim, telling him that help was on the way and that he would be OK. I trust that his very presence was a tremendous comfort to Jim, and for this I am so thankful."