TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka man has pleaded guilty to lying to a federal marshal who was trying to locate a fugitive before the fugitive shot three law enforcement officers during a standoff at a motel in Topeka in April 2016.
According to U.S. Attorney Tom Beall, Quentin Kirk Lawton, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of making a false statement. In his plea, Lawton admitted that on April 23, 2016 he visited Orlando J. Collins in a room at the Country Club Motel in south Topeka. Lawton left the motel shortly before a standoff between Collins and federal agents. When marshals questioned Lawton about Collins’ whereabouts Lawton denied having been to the motel or seeing Collins.
When members of a task force tried to take Collins into custody he shot two U.S. Marshals and an FBI agent. A fire ignited from inside Collins’ room during the gunfight and spread throughout the motel. After the fire, Collins’ body was found in the motel room.
Sentencing is set for August 14, 2017. Both parties have have agreed to recommend a sentence of 42 months in federal prison.