Sentencing for three people charged in the murder of an Arkansas City man has been postponed until after the jury trial scheduled for the fourth defendant is held later this year.

Sentencing for Dylan Weaver, Amber Orr and Lisa Wise in connection with the murder of Matthew Kelly was scheduled for Thursday, after the three defendants entered into plea agreements for their roles in the crime.

Arkansas City District Court Judge Chris Smith, however, said during court proceedings that he wanted to continue sentencing until after the jury trial for the fourth defendant, Justin Pierce, which is scheduled for the week of Aug. 29.

Smith told attorneys he wanted to schedule new sentencing dates to take place after Pierce’s pretrial conference on June 3, with the understanding that, if the case is still on track for a trial, sentencing could be pushed back again.

Orr’s new sentencing date is at 10 a.m. June 3, and Weaver’s is at 1:30 p.m. June 7. Wise’s new sentencing date was not announced, as she and her attorney were supposed to appear by Zoom before the internet connection was lost at the Arkansas City courthouse, leading Smith to cancel court for the rest of the day.

Kelly was murdered on Dec. 13, 2021. According to court documents, Wise allegedly told Pierce and Weaver to beat up Kelly after an argument, but to not kill him. Kelly died after being beaten, stabbed and shot by Weaver and Pierce, and his body was disposed of in a rural area.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

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(1) comment

Another plea bargain in Cowley County! Why are we charging people with crimes ? They will just get a slap on the wrist anyway!

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