By TIM UNRUH
LINCOLN -- In fewer than 20 minutes Wednesday, Scott M. Weigel's first appearance in Lincoln County District Court was over.
Courtroom pews held 15 people, five of them news reporters, as Weigel was advised of his rights and informed he is charged with second-degree murder in the Monday morning shooting death of Keith Ancell. The shooting occurred on East School Street, just a short distance from the courthouse.
Dressed in jail attire with thick horizontal black and white stripes, Weigel, 33, was led into the courtroom, where he sat down with his attorney, Roger Struble, Salina.
Weigel, the son of Lincoln County Sheriff Mike Weigel, nodded his head and quietly answered District Magistrate Judge Debra Wright's questions. If convicted, she said, Scott Weigel faces more than 54 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. His preliminary hearing will be in the same courtroom at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8.
His bond remained set at $750,000.
Weigel was detained for a time after his arrest in the Lincoln County Jail, but he is being held in another facility. A dispatcher at the sheriff's office declined to say where he is being held.
Little other information was shared at the first appearance. Afterward, County Attorney Jennifer O'Hare would not talk.
"An investigation is still pending, so no comment," she said.
The criminal complaint against Weigel lists eight witnesses.
Back in the 100 block of East School Street, a cross, a photograph of Ancell and a balloon mark the spot where Ancell was shot.
Folks in the neighborhood were still talking Wednesday about what they saw, or didn't see, early Monday morning.
Tiffany Schaan, who was in her house across the street, awoke her boyfriend, Sawyer (he wouldn't give his last name), at about 2 a.m. Monday. Flashing red and blue lights illuminated the entire block. They guessed the shooting had occurred about 1:45 a.m.
The couple recalled seeing Scott Weigel sitting on a curb with a female, in front of a black Hummer sport utility vehicle. They were about 5 feet from Ancell's body.
"We seen them put a guy in a cop car. We thought it was a drug bust or something," Schaan said.
Scott Weigel was arrested 45 minutes later, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office case log.
The couple didn't recall hearing any noise, such as a gunshot. Neither did Lee Modrow, who lives two doors west, on the south side of East School.
"I didn't wake up until after 3 o'clock," Modrow said Wednesday, as he hurried away to make a dental appointment.
After the initial excitement, Sawyer and Schaan returned to bed. They woke again at 5:30 a.m. and stepped to the porch.
"I looked over and saw Keith's body," Sawyer said.
Crime scene tape blocked East School Street. Officers visited with neighbors. Sawyer and Schaan noticed officers "picking up things, one by one" off the ground across the street.
To shield their 7-year-old son from the crime scene, they took him out of the back door of their home and shuttled him to school.
When he returned Monday afternoon, the monument had been erected and the tape had been removed.
"He had heard about it at school from other kids, asked me what happened. I told him that someone was really hurt and got killed, and to not be scared. The bad man was in jail and wouldn't be getting out for a long time," Schaan said.
Since the shooting, life has calmed a bit, she said.
"The night after, it was hard for me to sleep," she said. "Everyone's been driving up and down our street."
"It's a sad deal," Sawyer said.