Four charged with first-degree murder in Valley Center-area shooting
11/25/2013 1:01 PM
08/08/2014 10:20 AM
Prosecutors on Monday filed identical charges, including first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, against four people arrested in the shooting of a Valley Center-area couple.
One of the defendants, a California woman, is being held on a $1 million bond. The three other suspects in the shooting – including the 18-year-old man who is the California woman’s biological son and the adoptive son of the victims – are being held on bonds of $500,000 each.
The single criminal complaint that spells out the charges identifies the four defendants as Kisha Schaberg, 35, of San Diego; Anthony Bluml; and Braden Smith and Andrew Ellington, both 18 and of Park City. The three men had been classmates at Valley Center High School, where Tony Bluml last year became one of the state’s top wrestlers.
The four are charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, burglary and theft.
Fifty-three-year-old Melissa Bluml, a bank vice president, and her husband, Roger Bluml, were shot outside their home on 109th Street North on the night of Nov. 15. Melissa Bluml died the next day, and Roger Bluml was left critically injured.
The attempted-murder charge accuses the four of shooting Roger Bluml in the head. The murder charge says that the defendants killed Melissa Bluml intentionally “and with premeditation.”
The judge ordered Tony Bluml, the Blumls’ adopted son, to have no contact with his adoptive father.
Jay Greeno, a defense lawyer appointed for Ellington, said there is a double tragedy in the case in that someone lost their life and in that young people are being affected. Greeno said he has talked with Ellington but “there’s no facts that I can comment on.”
One of the robbery charges accuses the four of taking Melissa Bluml’s purse by force or threat.
The other robbery charge alleges that the four took a cellphone and keys from Roger Bluml. According to a 911 dispatcher the night of the shooting, the two victims were found shot in a car.
The burglary charge says the four entered or remained in the Blumls’ home at 5932 E. 109th St. North with the intent to commit theft.
The theft charge, a misdemeanor, accuses the defendants of taking coins and miscellaneous property valued at less than $1,000.
During their brief first appearances in Sedgwick County District Court, by a video link to the jail, all four defendants wore green jail jumpsuits.
The defendants heard the charges, and Judge Ben Burgess scheduled their next hearing for Dec. 10. They have public defenders or court-appointed attorneys.
In a financial affidavit that Schaberg filled out in applying for a court-appointed attorney, she said she has been unemployed for two years, is separated or divorced and has one dependent: a 7-year-old daughter.
Tony Bluml, the biological son she recently reunited with in California, said in his affidavit that he had been unemployed for a year.
Ellington wrote on his affidavit that he had been unemployed for a year but also said he had worked for a golf course and for a construction company. In high school, Ellington competed in golf.
Smith said he had been unemployed for eight months but had worked at some point for an appliance and construction business.
Smith said he owned a Nissan Altima, apparently the same car that he, Bluml, Schaberg and Schaberg’s young daughter used to travel from California to Kansas around Oct. 30, according to Schaberg’s girlfriend, who was interviewed by The Eagle last week.
Join the Discussion
The Wichita Eagle is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.