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Kansas man charged in 1980 killing of nursing student

Steven L Hanks.png
Posted at 2:22 PM, Dec 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-10 15:24:41-05

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has been charged in the 1980 shooting death of a 23-year-old neighbor after investigators who reexamined her death turned up new evidence, authorities said.

Kansas Bureau of Investigation officers arrested 68-year-old Steven Hanks, of Burden, on Thursday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Mary Robin Walter, who was a wife, mother and nursing school student when she was killed, Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said at a news conference Friday. He is jailed on $500,000 bond and doesn’t have an attorney, according to court records.

Mary Robin Walter

Bellendir said Detective Sgt. Adam Hales decided in April to reopen the investigation into the Jan. 24, 1980, killing, which happened at a trailer park near the airport in Great Bend, a city of about 15,000 residents in central Kansas.

“After taking a fresh look at the case, it became evident that some of the information had been initially overlooked and some had been added at a later date,” the sheriff said. “This was unknown to the original investigators.”