51-year-old Wichita man convicted in 1988 double homicide

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been convicted of fatally shooting a Baptist church pastor and choir director three decades ago in Kansas City, Kansas.

Wyandotte County prosecutors announced Thursday that 51-year-old Melvin Shields was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the April 1988 killings of 27-year-old Jolene Jones and 33-year-old Steve Ray.

The Kansas City Star reports that victims were longtime friends who had a daughter together. They had met for lunch one day before their bodies were found in a secluded area near the Kansas River. Authorities say Jones’ purse was found several blocks away, and her car was abandoned.

A few months after the killings, Jones was sentenced to prison for unrelated burglary and theft convictions. He later was convicted of other crimes, including aggravated battery and burglary.

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