Thursday, September 21, 2000

Fugitive caught in Kansas

Tripped up by deputy checking license plates in motel parking lot

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A deputy's extra effort in checking for stolen cars rewarded Tristate authorities with a fugitive sought since January.

        A Geary County, Kan., deputy was on patrol about 4:30 a.m. Sunday when he decided to check license plates on cars in a motel lot.

Leon Stamper
Leon Stamper
        One turned up reported stolen, so he went inside and asked for the name of the guest driving the vehicle.

        It was Leon Stamper.

        Mr. Stamper was wanted in Cincinnati for child endangering, felony strong-arm robbery and felonious sexual penetration. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted him on the last charge in connection with an incident involving a child.

        He's also wanted in Covington for a Jan. 13 chase that ended in several wrecked cars.

        That's when Mr. Stamper went on the lam, leaving his girlfriend and two small children in the car, police said.

        A woman and two small children were found in the motel room with him, sheriff's deputies said.

        Neither they nor local authorities could say if they were the same woman and children involved in the pursuit here.

        Deputies said they seized a weapon found in the room. The car turned out to be stolen from Louisville.

        Mr. Stamper remained behind bars Wednesday in lieu of $100,000 bond in Geary County, west of Topeka off Interstate 70.

        He faces charges there of felony theft, aggravated criminal possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property.

        Local officials do not know how long it might take for Mr. Stamper to be returned here, Covington police spokesman Sgt. Mike Arrowood said Wednesday.

        When he is, officials said, he likely first will face the charges in Hamilton County, where he already has been indicted.


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