Fatal crash leads to murder conviction

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Sedgwick County jury has convicted a driver of first-degree murder for killing another motorist while fleeing from police in a stolen pickup truck.

The Wichita Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1jMToAa ) the jury took less than an hour Wednesday to find 35-year-old Keith Ritz guilty on seven charges, including murder and fleeing from police.

Prosecutors said Ritz was speeding through residential areas when he drove through a stop sign and struck a pickup driven by 38-year-old Venancio Perez. The crash occurred on March 5, 2013, after a chase that lasted about 90 seconds.

No sentencing date has been set.

The victim’s family has sued the city of Wichita for $3 million, claiming police carried out the chase without regard for public safety. The city’s legal department has declined to comment.

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

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