March 4, 2011
A sentencing for an escape attempt turned into a murder confession Friday.
Eli Edwards was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the escape attempt, but before he'll serve that time he faces 99 years in a Texas prison, then a life sentence in Oklahoma. Prosecutors say that may be why he confessed to murder.
"I murdered a man, and I would like to confess today," said defendant Eli Edwards.
It was a very unexpected confession, from the man receiving his sentence for starting a fire in a county van as sheriff's deputies were transporting him. But it was during that sentencing hearing that Edwards asked to go under oath to confess to a separate crime.
"It's an unsolved homicide and I did it, here in Wichita, Kansas," said Edwards.
KAKE News also received a letter from Edwards this week, in which he also confessed to a murder he says he committed on Halloween night, 2002.
"I killed him with a blunt object, being a crow bar," said Edwards.
Law enforcement is aware of the confession and is taking necessary steps. But the District Attorney's office says this may be just the latest antic in a long list of attempts on Edwards' behalf to delay going back to Texas to serve his 99 year sentence.
"He wants to stay here because his family is here, and so it's been our opinion that he's taken many of these steps to try to prolong his stay here as long as possible," said Chief Sedgwick County District Attorney Randall Hubert.
Even, prosecutors say, if it means confessing to a murder that may have never happened.
"If you look at what he has been convicted of and the sentences that he has been given, including a life sentence in Oklahoma, he really doesn't have anything to lose," said Assistant Sedgwick County District Attorney Mandee Schauf.
Prosecutors say the decision on when to send Edwards back to Texas lies with the Sheriff's Department, but they don't expect it to be any later than early next week.