Defendant asks for preliminary hearing after robbery charge is changed to murder

03/28/2014 4:13 PM

08/08/2014 10:23 AM

A defendant who waived his right to a preliminary hearing on aggravated robbery charges last year has asked to withdraw that waiver after one of the charges was upped to first-degree murder.

David L. White, 26, is charged in the March 26, 2013, death of Byron Shipman, 73, who died several hours after being robbed at gunpoint in south Wichita. An autopsy report said Shipman died of a ruptured aneurism.

“In my opinion the emotional stress associated with the robbery precipitated the rupture of the … aneurism,” pathologist Jaime Oeberst said in her autopsy report.

The motion to withdraw the waiver was scheduled to be argued Friday, but was continued so psychologists can complete a court-ordered evaluation of White.

Wichita police said Shipman was one of several people robbed in south and west Wichita on the night of March 24 and the morning of March 25.

Police said Shipman was robbed at about 8:40 p.m. in the 800 block of West 26th Street South after dropping his grandchildren off at their apartment. The robber pointed a semi-automatic handgun at his face and demanded his wallet, police said, and Shipman complied.

Shipman complained of stomach pains when he got home, and he told his wife early the next morning that he had to go to the emergency room. He apparently died as she was getting dressed.

White was arrested on March 27 and charged with four robberies, including the one in which two rings and a wallet were taken from Shipman. Court records show that White waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the robbery charges on April 25. But when Oeberst’s autopsy report was filed on July 15, it listed the manner of Shipman’s death as a homicide.

On Jan. 7, one of the robbery charges against White was amended to first-degree murder, and his lawyer filed the motion to withdraw the preliminary hearing waiver two weeks later. The motion is now set to be heard on April 4.

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