Details emerge about connection between September murders

By Bethany Knipp

Three people, two killings, one night.

More details were revealed Friday in a hearing in Riley County District Court about two September homicides – one in Manhattan and one in Junction City – that allegedly involved the same gunman.

Anthony Nichols, 33, of Kansas City, Kan., is accused of shooting John Burroughs, 68, of Manhattan and Anthony Nixon, 37, of Junction City.
The connection was made in court during the preliminary hearing of 49-year-old Christina Love and her 33-year-old son, James McKenith, both of Manhattan.

The two appeared in court because they were arrested in connection with Burroughs’ Sept. 6 homicide.

Nichols was not at the hearing because he is confined in Geary County pending court proceedings related to Nixon’s death.  He was arrested by both Geary and Riley counties on the charges of first-degree murder for each homicide.

McKenith is accused of stabbing Burroughs eight times after Nichols allegedly shot him in the head previously that day.

Love is accused of aiding and abetting her son.

According to witness testimony from Riley County Police Detective Calvin Sanders, Love said during police questioning that she had gone over to Burroughs’ residence 2500 Farm Bureau Road, Lot 277, three times on Sept. 6, the last two involving injury to Burroughs.

Sanders said the first time Love went to Burroughs’ house was with McKenith to have a beer.

The second time, Love said she went with Nichols for what she thought would be a crack cocaine exchange. Both Nichols and Love reportedly went to Burroughs’ door, and when Burroughs asked who was there, Love responded, “Tina,” before Nichols told her to go back to the car.

That’s when she heard a gunshot, Sanders said.

In a brief conversation with Nichols about what she had heard, Love said Nichols told her “not to worry about it,” Sanders said.

The sole bullet fired went through Burroughs’ cheek and didn’t kill him, Sanders said. So after Nichols and Love went back to her residence, she told McKenith that Nichols had shot Burroughs.

And Love told police she went back to Burroughs’ trailer a third time with McKenith.

McKenith told Detective Bret Jager that the reason for the third trip was “to make sure he was dead.”

Jager said that during McKenith’s questioning McKenith said he didn’t want his mother to get in trouble for having been with Nichols at Burroughs’ house when the 68-year-old was shot.

When Love and McKenith arrived at Burroughs’ for the last time, having parked at a distance and walked there, they found Burroughs in his bathroom, bleeding and breathing heavily, but still alive.

McKenith then reportedly stabbed Burroughs once in the neck and seven other times in the chest area.

Love and McKenith then allegedly drove to the viaduct under U.S. Highway 177 near Pillsbury Crossing to throw the knife out the window.

McKenith was arrested initially in Kansas City, Kan., while he was with Nichols. Jager said that in exchange for going back to Manhattan, McKenith agreed to tell police everything, including the location of the gun and the knife used to kill Burroughs. Jager said the gun was found at Nichols’ apartment in Kansas City.

Nichols has yet to undergo court proceedings in Riley County.

In the second shooting, Anthony Nixon, 37, died after being shot in the early morning hours of Sept. 7 near the intersection of 10th and Webster streets in Junction City. 

Nichols is scheduled to appear in Geary County court on Feb. 18.

Though Burroughs was killed Sept. 6, his body wasn’t discovered until Sept. 8, by a co-worker, after he had missed several shifts. Burroughs was a dishwasher at the Manhattan Country Club.

Judge William Malcolm bound over both Love and McKenith on their charges of aiding and abetting first-degree murder.
The two are scheduled to be arraigned at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 27 with Judge Meryl Wilson presiding.

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