Man enters plea in baseball bat killing in downtown Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has pleaded guilty to a baseball bat killing in a downtown Topeka apartment.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 37-year-old Arthur Lee Ford IV pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of intentional second-degree murder in the December killing of 52-year-old Mark Everett Johnson. Ford initially was charged with felony first-degree murder. He also admitted to aggravated burglary.

The prosecution says Ford entered Johnson’s apartment, stole his bank card and his identification, and killed the victim. The coroner testified previously that Johnson died from blunt force injuries to his head. He also was stabbed three times.

An ATM security camera showed Ford using the victim’s bank debit card after his slaying.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 30. He faces more than two decades in prison.

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