Crime & Courts

Man draws 10-year sentence for role in deadly drug deal

A Wichita man was sentenced Friday to 10 years and three months in prison for his role in a shooting death that occurred last year during a drug-related robbery near downtown Wichita.

John E. Carter, 19, pleaded guilty in January to second-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery and attempted possession of marijuana with intent to sell.

He is the second of six defendants to be sentenced to prison in the April 19, 2013, death of Ronald Betts, 33, who was hit several times by gunfire during an attempted robbery at 446 N. Emporia.

The first, Kyle Beltz, 22, was sentenced to life in prison after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder.

Wichita police said Carter and was among a group of three men who tried to rob Betts after arranging to buy a quarter-pound of marijuana from him for $1,100. Two of the men with Carter at the time of the shooting and two who were with Betts were charged with felony murder, as was a man who set up the transaction but was not at the scene.

One of the suspects, Lorenzo Spires, 21, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a plea agreement that called for him to testify against the other defendants. Spires has testified that he and the other two buyers were planning to rob Betts when one of them opened fire.

Two of the defendants – Dennis O. Haynes, 20, and Kyler Carriker, 23 – are awaiting trial. Another is facing charges in juvenile court.