Prosecutors on Friday charged a convicted felon in four armed robberies in Wichita this week, including one in which the 73-year-old victim died about five hours after facing a gun barrel.
In Sedgwick County District Court on Friday afternoon, a judge told David L. White, 25, that he has been charged with four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of aggravated assault.
A woman who identified herself as White’s sister, Christina White, said by phone Friday: “My brother is innocent. He is not the person who committed these crimes.”
In court Friday, Judge Warren Wilbert doubled White’s bond to $150,000. White faces an April 11 preliminary hearing.
White has previous convictions including an aggravated weapons violation, burglary, theft and fleeing from a law enforcement officer, according to court records.
He was discharged from the Kansas Department of Corrections on Oct. 12, after being in prison off and on since 2007. He wrote in a court document filed Friday that he has been unemployed for more than six months.
In another court document, from late 2009, he said he was trying to improve himself and “has been plagued with severe drug addiction.”
One of the people White is accused of robbing on Monday is Bryon Shipman, a retired Boeing inspector. Around 8:40 p.m. Monday, a robber came up to Shipman’s minivan, pointed a semi-automatic handgun at his face and demanded his wallet, police said. According to the charges, White is suspected of taking a wallet with cash, financial cards, identification and two rings from Shipman while threatening him with a black handgun.
After returning home that night, Shipman told his wife his stomach hurt, and when she asked if it was from the stress of the robbery, he said it probably was, she said in an interview with The Eagle. By early Tuesday morning, about five hours after he was robbed, he was in severe pain and told his wife he had to go to the emergency room. She quickly got dressed, but when she returned to him, he was not breathing. At 2:15 a.m., paramedics determined he had died.
His wife has said Shipman was extremely stressed in the hours after he was robbed Monday night. She said she learned from the coroner’s office that her husband suffered an aortic aneurysm.
After hearing of the charges filed Friday against White, Shipman’s son, Chris Shipman, said, “I’m relieved and grateful that he has been caught.” Chris Shipman said he believes the robbery caused his father’s death and that he hopes authorities will be able to gather evidence to also bring charges in the death.
White was arrested shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday at his house in the 3000 block of West Kay, records show. In an affidavit White filled out Friday in applying for a court-appointed attorney, he gave a different address, in the 1500 block of South Edwards.
Police said all four robberies occurred in south and west parts of the city either on Monday or early Tuesday morning: 6:35 a.m. Monday, 2510 E. Lincoln, near Lincoln and Grove; 8:40 p.m. Monday, 835 W. 26th St. South, southeast of Pawnee and Seneca; 10 p.m. Monday, 3409 S. Leonine, southeast of West Street and 31st Street South; and 3:20 a.m. Tuesday at 1920 W. May, northeast of Pawnee and Meridian.
Police said a gunman approached people outside their vehicles and left in a vehicle with a loud muffler. In at least one of the cases, a woman was driving the vehicle.