Southeast Kansas Man Sentenced to 15 years for His Part in Shooting at Seneca Officer

Local News

NEOSHO, Mo. – A Southeast Kansas Man entered a plea of guilty in Newton County Circuit Court for his part in shooting at a Seneca Police Officer and was sentenced to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Tony Lucian Helms, 53, of Baxter Springs, Kansas, was sentenced by Judge Kevin Selby of the 40th Judicial Circuit on Friday, March 5, on one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon for Aiding or Abetting the Shooting a Firearm from a Vehicle. Additional counts of Assault and Armed Criminal Action were dismissed.

On September 12, 2o2o, a Seneca Police Officer was attempting to make a traffic stop of the vehicle carrying three suspects when he observed a back window open and a flash come from the vehicle, followed by bullets hitting the officer’s patrol vehicle. The vehicle proceeded through a fence and into a field where the occupants were able to evade pursuit. The vehicle was later located, in which officers found numerous weapons, spent bullet casings, and bullet holes in the tailgate of the vehicle. Helms and two other suspects were later apprehended. Bradley Ray Holmes, Jr. pleaded guilty on February 1, 2021 and also received a 15 year sentence in the Department of Corrections, the other co-defendant awaits trial and all criminal defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

“Those that commit acts of violence against our police officers must answer for their crimes and Mr. Helms is no exception. Fifteen years is a just sentence for his role in this crime. My office continues to be committed to protecting our law enforcement from those that would endanger them,” said Newton County Prosecuting Attorney William Lynch.

The case was investigated by the Seneca Police Department and prosecuted by William Lynch and Sarah Crites, of the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office.

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