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Defendant fails to appear; warrant issued





A bench warrant was issued Tuesday for the arrest of 24-year-old Megan R. Tibke after she failed to appear in Ellis County District Court on traffic and felony criminal charges including aggravated kidnapping.

Magistrate Judge Richard Flax ordered the issuance of the bench warrant for Tibke, Hays, who was scheduled to appear in court for a status conference on a series of criminal charges. In addition to the aggravated kidnapping charges, she also faces felony charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated battery and theft.

Flax issued the warrant after noting Tibke failed to show up in court for a bond appearance earlier Tuesday in connection with a traffic case.

Tibke and Joseph D. White, 22, Phillipsburg, both were arrested in late July on the charges. White remains in the Ellis County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

The charges stem from a July 11 incident when the Ellis County Sheriff's office was contacted by authorities from Rooks County who had recovered a vehicle stolen out of Graham County, according to Ellis County Sheriff's Detective Scott Braun.

The vehicle, a 1990 Jeep Cherokee, is the basis for the theft charge against Tibke and White.

The owner of the vehicle was able to identify the people involved, Braun said, ultimately leading to the filing of charges.

Braun said the incident occurred in the northern part of Ellis County.

In addition to the theft charge involving the Jeep and the kidnapping charge, White and Tibke are charged with the theft of $100 in cash, a debit card and a "Green Dot" card -- a prepaid debit card.

Flax issued the bench warrant just moments after accepting a no-contest plea from a 19-year-old Ellis resident on four misdemeanor charges.

Aaron M. Clermont originally had been charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with a June 7 incident at Casey's in Ellis. Initially, he was charged with threatening Ellis Police Officer Jon Geiger with a knife if Geiger didn't shoot him, according to the original criminal complaint.

On Tuesday, Ellis County Attorney Tom Drees filed an amended complaint, charging Clermont with three counts of assault and a single count of criminal damage to property -- all misdemeanors.

Clermont pleaded no contest to the charges and was placed on 18 months probation and ordered to pay $650 in restitution for a window he broke.

Flax and attorneys discussed Clermont's desire to return to Arkansas. Both Flax and Drees voiced concern about Clermont receiving treatment and the need to assure his return to Kansas if he fails to do so.