May 15, 2020 8:05 PM

Kan. inmates relocated after coronavirus cases increase

Posted May 15, 2020 8:05 PM
Inmates during the relocation from Wichita on Thursday -photo by Nolan Roth&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kake.com/story/42131508/all-wichita-work-release-inmates-moved-to-lansing-after-discovery-of-covid-19-cluster">courtesy KAKE</a>
Inmates during the relocation from Wichita on Thursday -photo by Nolan Roth courtesy KAKE

MISSION, Kan. (AP) — The state Department of Corrections says all inmates at a work release facility in downtown Wichita have been moved to another Kansas facility after 38 of them tested positive for the coronavirus.

Department spokeswoman Rebecca Witte says about 100 inmates at the Wichita Work Release Facility were moved Thursday to the Lansing Correctional Facility, where 88 staff members and 750 inmates have tested positive for the virus.

Witte said the dormitory set-up at the Wichita facility doesn't allow for the separation of the sick and healthy, but that Lansing is better able to quarantine and isolate.

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May 15, 2020 8:05 PM
Police: Man used sawed-off shotgun in Kan. woman's murder

Pankratz was released from prison in April, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections. He has previous convictions for robbery, aggravated assault, theft, and burglary.

SEDGWICK COUNTY — A Kansas man released from prison in April has been charged in the death of a 36-year-old woman at a home in Wichita on May 10.

Isaac Pankratz made his first court appearance in the case Thursday, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's office. He was charged with murder, criminal possession and use of a firearm and remains jailed on a $200,000 bond, according to online jail records.

Just after 9:30a.m. May 10, police responded to call at a home in the 4900 block of East Murdock in Wichita, according to officer Charley Davidson.

At the home, police located 36-year-old Sarah Phillips of Wichita unresponsive with trauma to her head.  She was pronounced deceased on the scene. 

Later in the day, investigators contacted 27-year-old  Isaac Pankratz at a home in the 2500 block of West Wildwood regarding the investigation.  He was arrested after being found in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.  The gun was recovered.

Through further investigation, it was learned the incident was a criminal homicide and that Pankratz and Phillips were both at the home on Murdock when he fired the shotgun, striking her and causing fatal injuries, according to Davidson.  Pankratz then fled the scene. 

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SEDGWICK COUNTY —Law enforcement authorities are investigating a fatal shooting and have a suspect in custody.

Just after 9:30a.m. Sunday, police responded to call at a home in the 4900 block of East Murdock in Wichita, according to officer Charley Davidson.

At the home, police located 36-year-old Sarah Phillips of Wichita unresponsive with trauma to her head.  She was pronounced deceased on the scene. 

On Sunday, investigators contacted 27-year-old  Isaac Pankratz at a home in the 2500 block of West Wildwood regarding the investigation.  He was arrested after being found in possession of a sawed-off shotgun.  The gun was recovered.

Through further investigation, it was learned the incident was a criminal homicide and that Pankratz and Phillips were both at the home on Murdock when he fired the shotgun, striking her and causing fatal injuries, according to Davidson.  Pankratz then fled the scene. 

Pankratz booking photo from Sedgwick County

This was not a random incident as Pankratz and Phillips are known to each other. Pankratz is being held on a charge of 1st-degree murder, according to Davidson.

He has been arrested and convicted of charges that include robbery, aggravated assault, theft, and burglary.

The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.