RENO COUNTY — A Kansas man accused of murder in a fatal 2017 hit-and-run accident entered pleas in the case Thursday.
The state amended count one in the case from first-degree murder to second-degree murder and 19-year-old Taylor Lukone entered a no contest pleas to that charge and two others, including failing to stop at an accident and interference with law enforcement.
Just after 1 a.m. September 21, 2017, police were called to the report of a bicyclist later identified as 51-year-old Jose Lopez, who had been struck by a vehicle in the 1200 Block of East 4th Street in Hutchinson. The vehicle fled the scene.
Parts of the suspect’s car were left at the scene of the collision, according to police.
Lukone was driving to get cigarettes and spotted Lopez riding his bicycle. He reportedly got angry over the way Lopez had supposedly treated his mother and others. Lukone intentionally struck Lopez and drove away.
Police found the car in front of a residence in the 800 block of East 6th Street in Hutchinson. Lukone initially claimed his car had been stolen, but later changed his story and admitted he left it there.
Sentencing in the case is set for Feb. 15.
The first count alone has a sentencing range between nine and 41 years in prison.