Quantcast

Two life sentences for man Kaston Hudgins - KOAM TV 7

Kaston Hudgins sentencing

Two life sentences for man convicted of killing mother/daughter in car crash

Updated March 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM CST:  A southeast Kansas man today gets two life sentences for killing a mother and daughter in a car crash.

Katson Hudgins had been convicted in March on two counts of first degree murder for the deaths of Teresa Kemp and her 13 year old daughter, Taylor.

Hudgins will serve the two life sentences concurrently and will be eligible for parole after 20 years.  The 1,019 days he has served thus far will count towards his sentence.

If Hudgins is ever given parole he will be required to have lifetime supervision.

Police were chasing a stolen car that Hudgins was driving when his car crashed into the rear of the Kemp's car on Highway 69 south of Pittsburg in July 2009.

Authorities say Hudgins was speeding and driving drunk when he slammed into their car.

At Hudgins' sentencing hearing this afternoon the court heard testimony from Hudgins, and John Kemp, father and husband of the victims.

John Kemp is an assistant coach for the Pittsburg State University football team and on the stand today he said the day they won the national title was very emotional for him, as it would have been his daughter's 16th birthday.

Updated March 15, 2012 at 3:10 PM CST:  A Galena man is found guilty of first degree murder for a wreck that killed a Pittsburg woman and her daughter.

This afternoon the jury found Kaston Hudgins guilty on two counts of first degree murder.

In July 2009 Hudgins was involved in a police pursuit when he crashed into a vehicle driven by a Riverton teacher.  Authorities say Hudgins was speeding, driving drunk and without his headlights on while he was running from officers after they tried to pull him over for traffic violations.  Teresa Kemp and her 13 year old daughter, Taylor, died from injuries received in the crash.

In February 2010 a judge declared the Galena man incompetent to stand trial after a mental exam said Hudgins was not capable of assisting in his own defense.  Hudgins was then sent through a three month treatment program and that June a judge ruled Hudgins competent to stand trial.

In a civil trial in April 2011, a judge said Hudgins was 100% responsible for the deaths of the Kemps and awarded the family around $5.4 million.

Updated March 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM CST:  Kaston Hudgins has been found guilty of first degree murder for the 2009 wreck that killed Teresa Kemp and her daughter, Taylor.

No sentencing date has been scheduled at this time.

CORRECTION:  It was previously incorrectly reported that Hudgins was found guilty of second degree murder.  In fact, Hudgins was convicted of two counts of first degree murder.

Updated March 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM CST:  The jury is now deliberating.

Updated March 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM CST:  Opening statements begin today in the trial of a man accused of killing a mother and daughter in a Southeast Kansas car crash.

Eye witnesses of the crash took the stand today and pictures of the crash are being shown to the jury.

Kaston Hudgins of Galena is charged with first-degree murder for the 2009 wreck that killed Teresa Kemp and her daughter, Taylor.

Police were in pursuit of Hudgins when his car crashed into the rear of the Kemp's car on Highway 69 south of Pittsburg.

Authorities say Hudgins was speeding and driving drunk when he slammed into their car.

The case is being tried in Cherokee County courtroom.

Updated March 14, 2012 at 12:20 PM CST:  A jury has been seated for the murder trial of Kaston Hudgins.

Testimony is scheduled to begin today at 12:30pm.

Hudgins is charged with first-degree murder for the 2009 wreck that killed Teresa Kemp and her daughter, Taylor.

Updated March 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM CST:  Jury selections begin today for a man accused of killing a mother and daughter in a Southeast Kansas car crash.

Kaston Hudgins of Galena is charged with first-degree murder for the 2009 wreck that killed Teresa Kemp and her daughter, Taylor.

Police were in pursuit of Hudgins when his car crashed into the rear of the Kemp's car on Highway 69 south of Pittsburg.

Updated June 21, 2011:  A criminal trial is put on hold while the defendant charged in the death of a southeast Kansas mother and daughter searches for a new lawyer.

A judge orders a delay in the trial of Kaston Hudgins.

Hudgins is charged with two counts of murder.

In a separate civil lawsuit last April a judge found Hudgins 100% responsible for the crash that killed Teresa and Taylor Kemp in July 2009.  The wrongful death lawsuit awarded the Kemp family roughly $5.4 million.

Authorities say Hudgins was drunk and fleeing from police when he drove into the Kemp's car in Cherokee County, Kansas two years ago.

Teresa Kemp was a teacher in Riverton, Kansas and 13 year old Taylor had just completed 7th grade in Riverton.

Last week Hudgin's criminal defense attorney withdrew from the case.

A new trial date will be set once a new attorney is appointed.

Updated April 8, 2011:  In a civil trial a Cherokee County judge says Kaston Hudgins is 100% responsible for the deaths of Teresa Kemp and her 13 year old daughter, Taylor.

The judge says the officer's pursuing Hudgins when he crashed into the Kemp's vehicle are not liable in any way.

The judge awarded a total of around $5.4 million to the Kemp family.

Updated April 7, 2011:  The civil trial is underway for the man accused in the death of a mother and daughter.

Kaston Hudgins is in Cherokee County court this week.  He is being sued for wrongful death by the husband and father of Teresa and Taylor Kemp of Pittsburg when they were killed in July 2009.

Teresa was a teacher, including 13 years in Riverton.  Her daughter, 13 year old Taylor, had just completed 7th grade in Riverton.

Their car was at a stop sign at the intersection of Highway's 69 and 171 when authorities say Hudgins struck them from behind in another vehicle.

Police say Hudgins was intoxicated and trying to elude police at the time.

Hudgins has been charged with two counts of first degree murder for the deaths.  That case has not yet gone to trial.

Evidence was presented in today's civil trial and will resume tomorrow morning.

Closing arguments are expected as early as tomorrow.

Updated September 10, 2010:  A Galena, Kansas man who faces two felony murder charges after a fatal traffic accident pleads not guilty.

Kaston Hudgins entered the not guilty plea Thursday in Cherokee County district court.

He is charged in the July 2009 deaths of Teresa Kemp and her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor.

They died when their car was hit by one driven by Hudgins, who was being pursued by police.

Hudgins' attorney told the court the appropriate charge should be involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The judge rejected that argument.

Updated July 28, 2010 - 5:15 PM CST:  The man accused of killing a Pittsburg mother and daughter in a car crash is bound over for trial on charges of first degree murder.

The preliminary hearing wrapped up Wednesday afternoon for Kaston Hudgins.

More than 10 people took the stand at the Cherokee County courthouse to describe the crash that killed Teresa and Taylor Kemp of Pittsburg in July of last year.

The Kemps' car was hit from behind on Highway 69, south of Pittsburg.

Authorities say Hudgins was speeding and driving drunk when he slammed into their car.

At Wednesday's hearing the defendant's wife, Ashley Hudgins, took the stand.

She describes the moments before Kaston took her car the night of the crash.

"...I thought maybe it was really hot that day - I thought maybe he just kind of switched places so that there was a breeze or something - I never wanted to think that Kaston would steal my car," says Ashley Hudgins.

Hudgins' is scheduled to be back in court on August 25.

Updated July 28, 2010 - 11:45 AM CST:  Witnesses testify in court about a car crash that left a Pittsburg, Kansas mother and daughter dead.

Teresa and Taylor Kemp died after their car was hit from behind at the intersection of Highways 69 and 400 south of Pittsburg.

On Wednesday witnesses testified Kaston Hudgins slammed into the back of the Kemp vehicle on July 16, 2009.

One witness told the court the Kemp vehicle "spun like a top", flipped over and landed on its roof.

Hudgins is charged with two counts of first degree murder.

Today is his preliminary hearing.

Authorities say Hudgins was driving drunk and without his headlights on while he was running from officers.

Officials say Hudgins had stolen a car earlier in the evening and was running from deputies after they tried to pull him over for traffic violations.

We'll have more details from today's court hearing this afternoon. 

Updated June 29, 2010:  After hearing from a psychologist a judge ruled today that Kaston Hudgins is competent to stand trial for the murder of a mother and daughter from Pittsburg, Kansas.

In February a judge declared the Galena man incompetent to stand trial.  Hudgins was then sent through a three month treatment program.

Hudgins is charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Teresa and Taylor Kemp.

The two died last July after their car was struck from behind on Highway 69 just south of Pittsburg by a car police say was driven by Hudgins.

Hudgins is scheduled to appear in court at the end of July.

Updated May 25, 2010 07:23 PM CST:  Students and parents gathered Tuesday at Riverton High School to remember a mother and daughter killed in a crash by an alleged drunk driver.

Friends and family spoke as the school dedicated a new sign, paid for by a memorial fund, dedicated to Teresa and Taylor Kemp.

At the base of the sign are two trees planted in memory of Teresa and Taylor, and a plaque bearing their names.

"This is the living legacy.," says Riverton Middle School Principal Becky Murray.  "As we come to school each day, as we drive by, we can remember Teresa and Taylor, and their support of the school. They loved being a Ram."

Kaston Hudgins is the man charged with killing Taylor and Teresa Kemp in a drunk driving crash.  He is scheduled to have another hearing at the end of June.

Updated Feb 16, 2010:  A judge issued the order Tuesday to have Kaston Hudgins committed to Larned State Hospital for mental health treatment.

According to a mental exam Hudgins is not capable of assisting in his own defense.

He is charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Teresa and Taylor Kemp.

Court documents say Hudgins was driving a stolen car while intoxicated and attempting to outrun police when he slammed into the Kemp's car just south of Pittsburg on July 16, 2009.

Taylor, 13, died at the scene.  Her mother, Teresa, 41, died a week later from her injuries.

Tuesday's ruling means after a three month treatment program Hudgins will be re-evaluated to determine his status.

Updated Sep 15, 2009:  The man charged with felony murder in a car crash that killed a mother and daughter will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Kaston Hudgins is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Teresa Kemp, 41, and her daughter Taylor, 13, of Pittsburg.

Court documents say Hudgins was driving a stolen car while intoxicated and attempting to outrun police when he slammed into the Kemp's car just south of Pittsburg.

Taylor Kemp died at the scene.  Her mother died a week later of her injuries.

A judge has ordered Hudgins to be committed for a psychological examination to see if he is fit to stand trial.

Hudgins' attorney says he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and has a history of psychiatric treatment and medication.

Updated Aug 17, 2009:  The man accused of killing a mother and daughter in a car crash, sat silently Monday as he was arraigned on two counts of first degree murder.

Kaston Hudgins was flanked by two officers as he was led into the Cherokee County courthouse Monday afternoon for an arraignment that lasted only a few minutes.

Prosecutors say Hudgins was driving a stolen car last month when he crashed into another car killing Teresa Kemp, 41, and her daughter, Taylor, 13.

Authorities in Missouri had already arraigned Hudgins for car theft, but this was his first Kansas appearance for the murder charges.

Hudgins is scheduled to return to court on September 17.

In the meantime he is in jail with bond set at $2 million.

Updated Aug 13, 2009 - 5:16 PM CST:  Kaston Hudgins, 22, is in custody with a $2,000,000 bond.

On July 16 a car crash just south of Pittsburg at the intersection of Highways 400 and US 69 took the lives of a woman and her daughter.

Now, one month later, charges are official.

Just before 7 a.m. Thursday morning police knocked on Kaston Hudgin's door in Galena and arrested him for two counts of first degree murder and numerous other charges.

"The arrest went off without incident - he was taken to our jail," says Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves.

Now he sits in custody.

"I think it's probably an unusual case anywhere," says Cherokee County prosecuting attorney John Bullard.

Hudgins, 22, is charged with two counts of first degree murder for a car crash that happened on July 16, 2009.

Other charges include possession of stolen property, felony attempt to elude, dui, reckless driving, two counts of failure to stop, driving without headlights, failure to maintain a single lane, and one count of excessive speed.

Officials say Hudgins was running from a sheriff's deputy at the time he crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of Highways 400 and US 69.

They say he was driving a car he stole from his then girlfriend, Ashley Kelley, who is now his wife.

Taylor Kemp, 13, died at the scene when Hudgins ran into the back of the car she was riding in with her mother.

Riverton school teacher Teresa Kemp died nearly a week later from her injuries.

Bullard describes the charges:

"It's commonly referred to as 'felony murder'.  That's correct.  It's definitely not premeditated."

There are two prongs to the Kansas murder statute regarding murder in the first degree - intentionally and with premeditation, which Bullard says does not apply to Hudgins - and in the commission of attempt to commit, or flight from an inherently dangerous felony.

"Any time we file any criminal complaint we have to try to fit the facts with the crime that we think works, and that's what we think was appropriate," Bullard explains.

Hudgins was arrested for murder exactly four weeks after the crash.

The Cherokee County sheriff's deputies and Kansas Highway Patrol were present for the arrest Thursday morning.

Hudgins is scheduled to be in court on Monday.

His bond is set at $2 million.

Updated Aug 13, 2009 - 8:04 AM CST:  A Galena man accused of causing a crash that killed two has been arrested for first degree murder.

In a news release issued Thursday morning at 7:40 a.m. Cherokee County Prosecutor John Bullard said Kaston Hudgins was arrested earlier in the day by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department with assistance from the Kansas Highway Patrol.

A complaint filed in the District Court of Cherokee County accuses Kaston Hudgins of committing the following acts on July 16, 2009:

  • two counts of 1st degree murder
  • one count of possession of stolen property
  • one county of felony attempt to elude
  • one count of DUI
  • one count of reckless driving
  • two counts of failure to stop
  • one count of driving without headlights
  • one count of failure to maintain a single lane
  • one count of excessive speed

Hudgins is expected to make his first court appearance in Cherokee County on Monday, August 17.

Updated Aug 10, 2009:  The Galena, Kansas man involved in a fatal crash that killed a mother and daughter appeared in court Monday morning.

On July 16 Taylor Kemp was killed when the car she was riding in was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by Kaston Hudgins.

At the time Hudgins was in a police chase with a Cherokee County sheriff's deputy.

The 22 year old was allegedly fleeing from a traffic stop.

Taylor's mother Teresa died a week later from injuries she sustained in the crash.

The car Hudgins was driving was reported stolen by his then girlfriend.  They have since married.

Kaston appeared in Newton County court Monday morning on the tampering charge of his now wife's car.

The judge set another date later this month.

As to the fatal crash no charges have been filed in Cherokee County, Kansas against Hudgins.

Prosecutors are waiting for the Kansas Highway Patrol to release its report.

Updated July 23, 2009 06:59 PM CST:  Services for Teresa Kemp and her daughter, Taylor Kemp, will be held at the Riverton High School gymnasium this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Visitation will be Friday at Riverton Friends Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Mrs. Kemp, a teacher at Riverton Schools, died Wednesday from injuries sustained in a car crash last week.

Taylor, 13, died at the scene.

Updated CST:  GALENA, KAN. - Kaston Hudgins is accused of causing a crash Thursday night that killed a mother and daughter.

Hudgins posted bond on Monday on a charge of tampering with a vehicle.

The car he was driving during the police chase and crash is actually owned by Ashley Kelley his girlfriend at the time.

Ashley Kelley called the Joplin police after Hudgins took her car without permission Thursday afternoon.

She and Hudgins were married Wednesday.

He is living with her family until his court date on August 10th.

Family expresses remorse for those killed in crash

Hudgins wife, Ashley, and mother-in-law, Nancy Nelums, express remorse to the Kemp family and say he has not forgiven himself since the crash.

Although he has some minor injuries from the crash, they say his pain is mostly emotional.

"I mean they're on his mind - there doesn't go a day that he doesn't think and they're not on his mind, that that little girl isn't on his mind, that he's not sorry for this, because he's very sorry, he's very very sorry for this," Ashley Hudgins told us.

"He's very depressed, he cries all the time, he's afraid that God will never forgive him for this," Nancy Nelums says.  "I've tried to talk to him and tell him that he's got to forgive himself and that God has forgiven him."

Says some details of police report are incorrect

Ashley made the call to the Joplin Police Department reporting her car missing Thursday, but says some other details from the police are incorrect.

Ashley Hudgins explains why her husband Kaston went out to the car Thursday:

"He has and gets anxiety, and 100 times before he's listened to the radio.  It was no big deal."

She says it's a common occurrence, but this time he drove away and she called police.

"I stated I did not want to make a report at that time, and I just wanted them to return my car and my boyfriend, and I would take care of the rest."

Police reports state Ashley Hudgins told them Kaston was intoxicated and that she tried to take the keys away from him.

Ashley disagrees.

"I had seen him drink a beer earlier that day, but not to the intoxicated point."

Although she wants to set the record straight, Ashley Hudgins says those details don't matter as much and wishes she could apologize to the Kemps.

"I just want to tell them that I am very sorry and I couldn't imagine."

As Kaston awaits his August 10 court date, he and his wife say they'll find strength in their marriage, made legal just Wednesday.

"A big reason to go through with it was because we love each other, that's why," Ashley told us.  "And I want him to know that I'm going to be there for him 100% all the way."

Kaston Hudgins refused to talk on camera, but did repeatedly express remorse for the accident and called it a dumb mistake.

Updated July 22, 2009 - 2:49 PM CST:  The man police say was running from them when he slammed into a vehicle driven by Teresa Kemp is charged in Newton County, Missouri.

Kaston Hudgins is accused of taking his girlfriend's car without her permission.

Hudgins is also wanted in Oklahoma for failure to appear in court.

In Oklahoma authorities charged him with transporting an open container of beer.

According to court records there the charge against Hudgins would have been dismissed if he was enrolled in a rehab program.

He is currently free on a $20,000 bond on the Newton County charge.

Cherokee County prosecutor John Bullard says he is waiting on the report from the Kansas Highway Patrol before filing charges.

Updated July 22, 2009 02:46 PM CDT:  Jasper County coroner Rob Chappel has confirmed that Riverton school teacher Teresa Kemp died Wednesday morning.

The family has dedicated a web site for Teresa Kemp.

On July 16 Kemp and her daughter, Taylor, were stopped at the intersection of Highway 69 and 400 in Cherokee County when their car was hit from behind.

Police say another car that was involved in a police chase crashed into them.

Taylor died at the scene, while her mother was taken by hospital to a Joplin hospital.

According to a Web site started for friends and family to keep track of her progress Teresa suffered irreversible brain damage.

Her body has been turned over to Kansas authorities for autopsy.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Updated July 20, 2009 - 12:55 PM CST & 6:16 PM CST:  Kaston Hudgins, 22, of Galena, Kansas is accused of stealing his girlfriend's car from Newton County, Missouri.

Police say they were chasing Hudgins last Thursday when he crashed into the back of another vehicle, killing 13 year old Taylor Kemp.  Kemp's mother, Teresa Kemp, and Hudgins were flown by helicopter to a Joplin hospital.

The vehicle Hudgins was driving at the time of the crash belongs to his girlfriend.

Argument leads to report of stolen vehicle

Ashley Kelley was visiting somebody at Freeman Hospital Thursday evening when her boyfriend, Kaston Hudgins, asked to borrow her car keys so that he could listen to the radio.

"Kelley stated that she allowed Hudgins to have the keys to listen to the radio but told Hudgins to not drive the vehicle due to his intoxicated state," reads the probable cause affidavit.  "Kelley said that she later went out to get the keys from Hudgins but he refused to give them to her and instead drove off in the vehicle without Kelley's permission."

According to the affidavit at 10:15 p.m. Kelley reported the 1997 Nissan Maxima stolen.

About 45 minutes earlier Hudgins crashed into the back of another vehicle.

Taylor Kemp, 13, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Her mother, Teresa Kemp, and Hudgins were flown by helicopter to St. John's Regional Medical Center.

Cherokee County law enforcement had been chasing the Hudgins car just before the crash, but they did not know the car was stolen when they began their pursuit.

Authorities have not said why they were chasing the car.

Attorneys have advised the sheriff's office not to comment about the case until the investigation is complete.

Arrest made

Kaston Hudgins, 22, of Galena, Kansas was arrested at St. John's Regional Medical Center over the weekend by the Joplin Police Department.

Hudgins is charged in Newton County with tampering in the first degree, and is being held in there on a $20,000 bond.

Cherokee County prosecuting attorney John Bullard says his office and the Kansas Highway Patrol are coordinating efforts to determine charges on Kaston Hudgins.

Taylor's mother, Teresa Kemp, is a teacher at Riverton Middle School and was listed in critical condition as of 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Original - July 16, 2009 - 10:43 PM CST, last Updated July 17, 2009 - 12:48 PM CST

Pittsburg teen killed after high speed chase ends in a deadly crash

A car being pursued by Cherokee County law enforcement on U.S. Highway 69 slammed into a car at the intersection of Highway 400 at the county line.

Taylor Kemp, 13, of Pittsburg, Kansas died at the scene.  Her mother, Teresa Kemp, was taken by helicopter to the hospital.

The driver being pursued, Kaston Hudgins, 22, of Galena, Kansas, was also taken to a nearby hospital by helicopter.

The collision occurred just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

At least five law enforcement agencies responded to the crash.

The intersection was closed off and traffic diverted for a least a couple of hours.

According to the crash report, both Taylor and Teresa Kemp were wearing their seat belts, while Kaston Hudgins was not.

Teresa Kemp is a special ed teacher at Riverton Middle School.  As of 10 a.m., Teresa was listed in critical condition.

Hudgins condition has not been confirmed.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Local author publishes fiction book based on real life experiences

    Local author publishes fiction book based on real life experiences

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:01:09 GMT
    A new book written by a local woman targets issues that many are afraid to discuss.More >>
    A new book written by a local woman targets issues that many are afraid to discuss.More >>
  • At least 4 new businesses are heading to downtown Joplin

    At least 4 new businesses are heading to downtown Joplin

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:00:02 GMT
    Downtown Joplin has gained several new businesses in the past month and even more are coming.More >>
    Downtown Joplin has gained several new businesses in the past month and even more are coming.More >>
  • Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:20:41 GMT
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.