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  • Writer's pictureJournal Staff Report

Allen takes a plea deal, second-degree murder charge dropped

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

MOUND CITY – A plea deal between attorneys for the Kansas Attorney General’s office and the attorney for a Parker man accused of killing his mother by ramming his truck into her car has sent shock waves throughout the community.

Linn County Attorney Burton Harding said that James Rocky Allen, 44, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of leaving the scene of an accident in a hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The jail sentence for the misdemeanor was set at time already served, which was about 330 days.

Allen was taken into custody on Dec. 15, 2020, after a pickup he was driving allegedly struck a passenger vehicle being driven by his mother, Charlotte Grimes of Garnett, on Keitel Road near 1800 Road in Linn County. According to a report filed by the Kansas Highway Patrol, the pickup driven by Allen intentionally struck Grimes’ vehicle at least twice, once from behind at “highway speeds” and once from the side in a “T-bone” type collision.

According to the KHP report, Allen then fled the scene on foot, but returned later in a different vehicle. The report said that Grimes, 70, was already dead when first-responders arrived at the scene.

Allen was taken into custody by agents for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for alleged second degree murder.

Harding said he was shocked to learn that attorneys for the state agreed to the plea agreement. However, he said he learned from Allen’s defense attorney that at a prior hearing the original accident report was found to have inconsistencies.

Those inconsistencies called into question the medical examiner’s report as well. A revised accident report was more favorable to Allen’s defense, Harding said.

Because Harding had contacted by Grimes for legal work before the incident, he was listed as a witness in the case by the KBI, and because of that the state attorneys were called in to prosecute the case.

Correction: This update version of the story corrected errors about the use of the traffic and coroner's reports as well as the reason Harding could not prosecute the case. We regret the errors.

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