12/6/2016: According to court documents, Judge Bill Cullins sentenced Johnson to life in prison. Johnson was convicted of first degree murder in the death of Angela Leis in August 2015.
He also was sentenced to 272 months, or about 22 1/2 years, for a conviction of aggravated kidnapping. That sentence will run consecutive to the life imprisonment sentence. Johnson also was convicted of aggravated assault and criminal possession of a firearm.
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8/27/2016: The family of murder victim Angela Leis is searching for answers and justice. Leis' body was discovered by police in a vacant lot in the 600 block of North Park Blvd. in Independence, KS on Sunday morning.
Four men have been arrested in connection with the victim's death: Cameron Lee Johnson (age 29), Sylvester Lynn Jones (age 33), Brandon Nicholas Peyton (age 25) and Tyler Blake Slaton (age 20). Johnson, Jones and Peyton have been charged with first degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault. Slaton has been charged with obstruction of justice.
Jones was previously arrested in 2003 for the manslaughter of two female victims. Leis' family wonders what would be different had Jones' sentence been more severe or longer.
Leis was a 31-year-old single mother, who owned her own home and was known for her caring, bubbly personality at Independence's Walmart. Her son, Malachi (age 12) was the center of her universe according to family. Leis' uncle, Robert Lee, speculates that her love for her son played a role in her death.
"I feel like she may have been in a protective mode or a deflective mode from something happening with him. And that wouldn't surprise me at all with her," Lee said.
The case is being investigated by Independence Police Department and the KBI. IPD turned the case over to the county attorney's office, who said the following via a phone interview:
"The charges have been filed and they speak for themselves. We cannot comment on this open investigation at the time."
A GoFundMe account has been set up to aid the family in funeral expenses. A candlelight vigil is being held at 8:15 p.m. tonight.
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