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DA: Bluml murder suspects planned crime

By Anne Meyer, ameyer@kwch.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:35:10 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 25 2013 06:54:05 PM CST
WICHITA, Kan. -

Family members of the victims and suspects filled several rows of a Sedgwick County courtroom Monday as four people accused of murder made their first appearance.

Melissa Bluml was killed in the shooting at the couple's home November 15th. We now know her husband, Roger, was shot in the head that night,  He has been in the hospital ever since.

The four suspects, appeared in court one-by-one Monday to hear the charges against them.

According the the charges, the group planned the crime that night. Court documents also say they took Melissa Bluml's purse and Roger Bluml's car keys and cell phone by force. They then went in the home and took coins and other items worth less than $1,000.

Tony Bluml, the victims' adopted son, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, theft and burglary. He remains jailed on $500,000 bond.

The judge also ordered Tony Bluml to not have any contact with his adoptive father, Roger.

Kisha Schaberg, Tony's biological mother, was charged with the same counts. But she remains jailed on $1,000,000 bond.

Two of Tony's friends, 18-year-olds Andrew Ellington and Braden Smith were also in court. Both were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, burglary and theft.

Both of their bonds are set at $500,000.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 10, but those are likely continued.

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The four people arrested in a Valley Center murder will be in court this week. Each one could face life in prison for killing Melissa Bluml and shooting her husband, Roger. He is still in the hospital.

The Bluml's home on a rural road outside Valley Center was the site of a deadly shooting November 15th.

Since then Sedgwick County Sheriff's deputies have searched the area around the home. Plus they spent days looking through a Wichita park. That's where we watched divers pull something from the water and hand it to an investigator.

"That they are searching other locations would be an indication that somebody cooperated and told somebody something," said Defense Attorney Charlie O'Hara.

But O'Hara says that information won't come out during the first appearance this week.

"All we are going to find out are what the charges are and what the bonds are," O'Hara said.

More specific details, like who's accused of pulling the trigger and a possible motive, won't be made public until the up-coming preliminary hearings. Until then, O'Hara expects there's probably some legal maneuvering going on.

"I would assume with four people involved, a number of them being quite young, there is probably some cooperation going on," O'Hara added.

If one does choose to testify against the others, he or she could get less time in prison.

"If you are 18 and you get felony murder, you are eligible for parole when you're 38," O'Hara said. "If you get life, you never get out so it's a whole different circumstance."

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