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Trial delayed again for suspect in death of LS West grad

By The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. – A trial has been delayed for the second time for the suspect in the shooting death of a former Washburn University football player and the wounding of another player who went on to play for the New York Giants.

Francisco A. "Franky" Mendez, 19, was scheduled to be tried Oct. 26 in the April 2019 death of Dwane Simmons, a Lee’s Summit West High School graduate, and the wounding of Corey Ballentine.

Shawnee County District Judge Cheryl Rios granted Mendez a continuance in the case while scheduling a status conference to take place Nov. 12, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Mendez was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder after the April 28 shooting in Topeka. Authorities said the shooting occurred just hours after Ballentine was taken by the Giants in the NFL draft, while he and his friends were celebrating. 

Mendez faces three more counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three other Washburn players, who weren't hit, and seven other counts for unrelated crimes.