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Life in prison for Fort Scott man found guilty of murder - KOAM TV 7

Life in prison for Fort Scott man found guilty of murder, aggravated arson

Brent Bollinger Brent Bollinger

Updated November 22, 2013 - NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE KANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL

FORT SCOTT - (November 22, 2013) - Brent Bollinger, 26, of Fort Scott, was sentenced today to life in prison for first degree felony murder, aggravated arson and aggravated child endangerment, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Bollinger was convicted in September of crimes related to the 2011 death of his wife, injuries to his son and the burning of the family's home near Fort Scott. He was sentenced today by Judge Mark A. Ward to life in the Kansas Department of Corrections without eligibility of parole for 25 years and eight months.

The case was investigated by the Bourbon County Sheriff's Office, Fort Scott Police Department, Kansas Fire Marshal's Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Assistant Attorneys General Kristiane Bryant and Steve Karrer of Schmidt's office and Bourbon County Attorney Terri Johnson prosecuted the case.

 

Updated September 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM CST - NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF KANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL DEREK SCHMIDT

Fort Scott man foundguilty of murder, aggravated arson

FORT SCOTT – (September, 18, 2013) – A Bourbon Countyjury today found Brent Bollinger, 26, of Fort Scott, guilty of felony murder, aggravated arson and aggravated child endangerment after a two-weektrial, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Bollinger was charged with the crimes in the 2011death of his wife, injuries to his son and the burning of the family's homenear Fort Scott.  Judge Mark A. Ward presided over the trial and scheduledsentencing for November 22 at 9 a.m.

The case was investigated by the Bourbon CountySheriff's Office, Fort Scott Police Department, Kansas Fire Marshal's Office andKansas Bureau of Investigation. Assistant Attorneys General Kristiane Bryantand Steve Karrer of Schmidt's office and Bourbon County Attorney Terri Johnsonprosecuted the case.  

# # #

Updated September 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM CST: An unusual jury selection in Bourbon County, Kansas has the judge and potential jury trading the courtroom for the classroom.

A steady line of potential jurors and spectators left the jury selection proceedings for the murder trial of Brent Bollinger-- accused of killing his wife in a fire back in 2011. The catch is that the building described here isn't the Bourbon County Courthouse-or even a Courthouse at all. It's the Fort Scott Community College Fine Arts building -which is hosting the jury selection for this real life murder case. 

"I have never, never heard of it, I was in the criminal justice field nine years before teaching here for six, and personally I have never witnessed the jury selection process," said Fort Scott Community College Criminal Justice Professor Vanessa Poyner. 

The Bourbon County Court would not allow our cameras into theatre for the selection proceedings, but inside held more than 200 potential jurors. A number too large for the normal courtroom. The unusual circumstances allows Criminal Justice students like Hope Jurgensen to get some real life experience. 

"You get to see all the judge and lawyers interact and everything and see what it really feels like to be in the field," Jurgensen said.
 
Poyner says it's not everyday Fort Scott gets such a big case, and she suspects that's the reason for the large jury pool.

"People are related in this town, they've heard the media, etc, it's going to be difficult, to find a jury."
 
Poyner went on to say, though the juror selection is dwindling down as potential jurors get kicked from the pool, she is telling her students to take note, because this opportunity to witness criminal justice first hand--does not come everyday. In fact Poyner says that many of her students have stayed after class to watch the proceedings on their own accord. 

Jury selection is scheduled to continue September 5th at Fort Scott Community College's Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. 

 

Updated September 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM CST:  Jury selection is underway in the case of a Fort Scott, Kansas man charged with arson and the murder of his wife.

Brent Bollinger and his then two year old son survived a house fire in October 2011.  The body of his wife, Brenna Bollinger, 23, was found in the fire.

The child was flown to Shriners Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio with critical burns and was released a month later.  Brent Bollinger suffered burns on 69% of his body.

In January 2012, Bollinger was charged with first degree murder, child endangerment and aggravated arson.

A Fort Scott Community College official told us Wednesday morning that 200 potential jurors were called and because the courthouse did not have room, the jury selection has been moved to their campus.

No cameras or phones are being allowed in the facility.

 

Updated July 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM CST:  A Fort Scott man charged in the death of his wife has been bound over for trial.

In October 2011, Brent Bollinger and his two year old son survived a house fire just south of Fort Scott.  His wife,  Brenna Bollinger, 23, died in the fire.

The child was flown to Shriners Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio with critical burns and was released a month later.

Brent Bollinger suffered burns on 69% of his body.

In January, Bollinger was charged first degree murder, child endangerment and aggravated arson.

Today the Kansas Attorney General's Office told us Bollinger has been bound over for trial and will have an arraignment next week.  At that time a trial date will be set.

Updated January 31, 2012 at 11:50 PM CST:  A Fort Scott man is charged with premeditated murder after his wife dies in a house fire in October.

After his home burned to the ground, Brent Bollinger, 25, has been charged with:

  • first degree murder
  • child endangerment
  • aggravated arson.

Last week Bollinger was arrested in Bourbon County and he appeared in court yesterday.

A judge set his bond at $1 million.

In October, Bollinger and his two-year-old son survived a house fire on Grand Road just south of Fort Scott.

His wife, Brenna Bollinger, 23, died in the fire.

The young child was flown to Shriners Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio with critical burns.  He was released a month later.

Bollinger himself suffered burns on 69% of his body.

His next court date is set for February 9.

Reported October 18, 2011 at 3:54 PM CST:  A KU Medical Center representative tells us Brent Bollinger is in serious condition while two year old Bryson Bollinger is in critical condition at Shriner's Hospital in Cincinnati.

The two were transported to the hospitals after the Bourbon County Sheriff's Department and fire officials responded to a house fire in rural Fort Scott, Kansas on Thursday night.

According to the sheriff's department the body of Brenna Bollinger, 23, was found inside the home.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas fire marshal are helping investigate the case.  

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