Crime & Courts

Suspect in teen’s stabbing in Derby arrested in Missouri; woman dead

The man sought in an incident in Derby that led to a woman’s death and the stabbing of her teenage son was arrested Sunday night in Missouri, Derby Police Chief Robert Lee said.

Lee didn’t provide any other details of the arrest of Charles Alfred Beck, who lived in the house where the incident occurred Sunday morning.

Beck, 40, was wanted on suspicion of attempted homicide in the stabbing of the teenager, Lee said.

The teenager was later released from a Wichita hospital, Lee said.

The cause of the woman’s death has not been determined, Lee said, and he declined to say whether police think her death is a homicide.

“The death of the woman is obviously very suspicious,” Lee said. “We’ll be relying on the coroner’s office to determine the cause of death. We do not know.”

He said he wouldn’t have any further updates until checking with the coroner on Tuesday.

Beck was a friend of the woman and lived at the residence, Lee said.

Shortly after the incident, Derby police issued a description of Beck and what vehicle he was driving. Lee said Beck was considered to be armed and dangerous and asked the public to notify police if they saw him.

Derby police received a call shortly before 10 a.m. Sunday about a disturbance and possible cutting at a duplex in the 1400 block of North Nixon, which is near K-15 and 71st Street South.

They found the teenager with a “significant stab wound to his throat ... a serious slashing-type cut to his throat,” Lee said. The boy was taken to a Wichita hospital, according to the Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor.

The woman was also taken to the hospital, where she died shortly after arriving, Lee said during a briefing at Derby’s police headquarters.

Lee announced via e-mail shortly before 10 p.m. – 12 hours after the incident – that Beck had been taken into custody.

Investigators were still trying to determine what led to the incident, he added.

Lee said he wouldn’t release the name or ages of the woman or her son because next of kin hadn’t been notified. The dispatch supervisor said the boy is 15 and the woman was in her 30s to 40s.

There were more people in the house besides the woman and teenage boy when police arrived, Lee said.

“There were other children (in the house),” Lee said. “I don’t have a total. No other children were injured.”

Beck was sent to prison in 2006 for violation of a protection order and for drug possession, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections records.

He was also convicted in 2006 of the battery of a corrections officer while in the Russell County jail, the state records show. While in prison, he was cited on a disciplinary report for fighting, according to the state records.

He was paroled in 2011 and was released from parole on Wednesday, state records said.

At the scene of Sunday’s incident, a white Dodge pickup was the only vehicle parked in the driveway of the duplex, which is on a dirt road in a wooded area.

Jordan Voss, who lives in a fourplex across the road, said he and Beck worked for the same Wichita construction company for about a week this summer.

They sometimes rode together to work before Voss quit the job about a month ago because of a scheduling conflict.

“Chuck always seemed like a good guy to me,” Voss said. “He was kind of funny. He had a bit of a temper, but anyone working construction all day can lose their temper.”

He said he was asleep when the incident apparently happened.

Voss said he didn’t know the woman or her son but noted that he thought Beck had lived there the past few months.

David Gumpenberger, who lives next door to Voss in the fourplex, said a girl, probably 8 or 10, also lived in the house.

“I always saw the boy and the girl playing together in the yard,” he said.

Gumpenberger said he didn’t know Beck but had seen a man at the house recently.

“I don’t know if it’s the same man,” he said. “I didn’t know the woman, except to wave a few times when I saw her.”

He also said he was asleep around 10 a.m. and didn’t hear or see anything.

“I try to mind my own business as much as possible,” Gumpenberger said.

Police expect to be processing the scene for several days.

“We’ll be conferring with the D.A. for possible charges,” Lee said.

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