Crime & Courts

Wichita pair face murder charges

A Wichita husband and wife were charged with murder Friday in the killing of a man found buried in a backyard earlier this week.

Michael Williams, 37, and Deborah Weiss, 48, are each charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say Williams and Weiss killed Sean "Chris" Putnam on Dec. 21 or 22.

They are being held in the Sedgwick County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Judge Warren Wilbert set a preliminary hearing for Feb. 22 and assigned the public defenders office to represent them.

An autopsy revealed that Putnam died from a gunshot wound to the head, Wichita police said Friday.

Putnam, 41, was found Wednesday in a shallow grave behind a shed in the backyard of a house in Oaklawn.

Putnam was last seen by police on Dec. 21 at a house on South Waco, where officers were called because of an argument between Putnam and Williams, Lt. Ken Landwehr said.

Putnam lived there with the couple, he said. Police think he was killed at the house later that same month.

Witnesses told police the argument that brought police to the house on Waco was over drugs and money, Landwehr said, but officers found no evidence of that at the house.

Charges are also possible against a 45-year-old man who helped bury Putnam's body behind his mother's house, Landwehr said.

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