Fifth person charged in Cook murder; Will cooperate w/ authoriti - KOAM TV 7

Fifth person charged in Cook murder; Will cooperate w/ authorities

Shawn Cook Shawn Cook
Jessica Epting Jessica Epting

(2/27):  On Monday, February 27, 2017, Amber Boeken, pursuant to a plea agreement entered a plea of guilty to an amended charge of Murder in the Second Degree in violation of K.S.A. 21-5403(a)(2), a level 2 person felony, for her involvement in the murder of Shawn Cook. The sentencing range for a level 2 felony is a minimum of 109 months to a maximum of 493 months. The specific sentence for Ms. Boeken will be based upon her prior criminal history pursuant to the Kansas Sentencing guidelines.

Ms. Boeken will be sentenced on April 10, 2017 before the Allen County District Court.

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Jessica Epting was found guilty of Obstruction and Interference with Law Enforcement and sentenced to 13 months in the Allen county jail. Epting was placed on supervised probation for 12 months. Charges of First Degree murder were dismissed following additional investigation by law enforcement. Epting has agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and the Allen County Attorney’s office in the prosecution of other defendants in the murder of Shawn Cook.

(Press Release via Allen County Attorney)

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Amber Beoken, Iola-- charges 1st degree murder appeared in court 1/25/17 for status hearing.  Arrested April 2016.
Joshua Knapp, Iola-- charges 1st degree murder last appearance in court 1/4/17. Arrested April 2016. 
James Myers, Iola. charges of 1st degree murder, preliminary set for 3/10/17.  Arrested July 2016. 
Rhonda Jackson, Iola-- charges of 1st degree murder,  preliminary set for 3/21/17. Arrested July 2016. 

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On Friday July 29, 2016, Rhonda Lea Jackson and James Allan Myers appeared before the Honorable Daniel D. Creitz, Chief Judge of the 31st Judicial District for a first appearance on the first degree murder charges filed by Jerry B. Hathaway, Allen County Attorney on Wednesday July 27, 2016 in relation to the murder of Shawn Cook. Wm. Shane Adamson, an attorney in Parsons, Kansas was appointed as the attorney for Ms. Jackson. Brian Duncan, an attorney in Yates Center, Kansas was appointed as the attorney for Mr. Myers. Bond was set for each defendant at $1,000,000 cash or surety. Their cases were set next for a preliminary status hearing on August 17, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. Jessica Epting, who was also charged with first degree murder on July 27, 2016 remains at large.

Related Article:  Boeken and Knapp charged for 1st Degree Murder

The Allen County Attorney’s office had previously charged Amber Beoken and Joshua Knapp with first degree murder for Mr. Cook’s murder. Mr. Cook had been missing since March 13, 2016 and his body was discovered on the banks of the Neosho River in Coffey County, Kansas on April 3, 2016. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Iola Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s office are continuing their investigation with regard to Mr. Cook’s murder.

Please keep in mind that the fact that a defendant is charged with a crime is merely an accusation and that the defendant or defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Anyone with information regarding the murder of Mr. Cook is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), Iola Police Department at 1-620-365-4960 or the Allen County Sheriff’s Department at 1-620-365-1400.

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