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Prosecutor says he wants option of death penalty against woman in Kansas double-slayings

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WICHITA, Kansas — Prosecutors say they may seek death penalty against a California woman accused in the slayings of her biological son's adoptive parents in southeast Kansas.

Kisha Schaberg, 36, of San Diego, along with her biological son and his two friends, is charged in the November 2013 deaths of Roger and Melissa Bluml. The couple were found shot to death in their car outside their home in rural Valley Center. Investigators allege the couple were shot as part of a plot to collect insurance money.

During Schaberg's arraignment Wednesday, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said he wanted the option of seeking the death penalty, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1uBWnm4 ). The judge didn't immediately rule on the request, and her attorney noted that a jury may not hear the case for at least a year because of the severity of the charges.

Schaberg's 19-year-old biological son, Anthony Bluml, and his former high school classmates Andrew Ellington and Braden Smith, also both 19, are charged with capital murder. The four suspects also face charges of aggravated robbery, burglary and theft, and are each being held in jail on $2 million bond.

Melissa Bluml, 53, died at a Wichita hospital the day after she and her 48-year-old husband were found shot in the head. Roger Bluml died about five weeks later.

Smith testified in July that Schaberg pulled the trigger. He said the shootings stemmed from resentment and were part of a plan to gain life insurance money. He said Bluml moved in with him after he was kicked out of his house for using marijuana, and that they later drove to San Diego so Bluml could reconnect with Schaberg.

Smith struck a plea deal with prosecutors that will reduce his charges in exchange for testifying against the other suspects.

Smith, Bluml and Schaberg have pleaded not guilty. Ellington is scheduled for arraignment Nov. 20.

Schaberg's next court date is Jan. 13.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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