Baxter Springs Officer Cleared for Duty - KOAM TV 7

Baxter Springs Officer Cleared for Duty


UPDATE 1/5/2017:

Officer Jimmy Hamilton has been cleared for light duty. He'll start on January 8th. Hamilton will be assisting with dispatch duties until he's cleared for patrol.

UPDATE 10/25/2017:

Good news out of Baxter Springs. Officer Jimmy Hamilton is back home. Hamilton had been recovering in a burn unit in Springfield since the incident.

UPDATE 10/13/2017:

Cherokee County Prosecuting Attorney James Conard has filed murder charges against a Baxter Springs, Kansas man. Harvey Raymond Ortberg is charged with eight felonies, including premeditated first-degree murder, two counts of attempted capital murder, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, and two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

Ortberg has been in a hospital since the incident occurred at the end of September according to press release. Today Ortberg was taken into custody and will be held in Greene County, MO until extradition to Kansas. Once in Kansas, he will be held on a $1,000,000 bond. If convicted Ortberg faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for at least 50 years. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas State Fire Marshal's Office continue to investigate.

UPDATE 9/30/2017:

"I heard a lot shouting..some thrashing and then a woman's voice, frantic..help help help" says Eric Kress, who was about to go to bed when he heard his neighbor yelling.

Baxter Springs Police officers got a call just before 1:30 on Saturday morning. But when they arrived like the woman in the mobile home ..they were attacked. "The suspect poured gasoline on miss horn as well as threw it on 2 officers" says Cherokee County Sheriff, David Groves.

The suspect then ignited the flames.

"It's tragic and despicable what this criminal did and the injuries they sustained and Miss Horn's family" says the sheriff.

The 3 police officers injured in the incident have been treated and are expected to be fine. But 65-year-old Sharon horn passed away just before 7 O'clock on Saturday morning. A family friend of the suspect was at the scene later in the day, and tells us that the suspect was the victim's nephew.

A neighbor says the suspect didn't have very good standings with a lot of people in the neighborhood. "He was always having conflict within the neighborhood with everybody" says Kress.

With 3 officers out of the line of action, the sheriff assures that the people in Baxter Springs will still have full law enforcement coverage. "We recognize that our brothers and sisters in the Baxter Springs Police Department and going through a traumatic time. And so we've offered our services to help cover shifts as needed" says the sheriff.

Officer Jimmy Hamilton is still in a Springfield hospital and is expected to make a full but long recovery.

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