Murder Suspect Also Charged with Rape, Kidnapping

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WESTMORELAND, Kan. - Deon Ross, 24, is confined in the Pottawatomie County Detention Center on a $2,000,000 cash/commercial bond until his October 24 preliminary hearing.

County Attorney Sherri Schuck has filed the following charges against Ross: Felony Murder, an off grid person felony; Rape, a level one person felony; and Kidnapping, a level three person felony.

Ross was brought before District Magistrate Judge Steven Roth at 1p.m. Thursday for a first appearance to make sure Ross understands the charges against him, the possible penalties those charges hold, and his rights.

For the First Degree Murder charge, Ross could face as much as life in prison. He faces 147-653 months (12.25-54.42 years) for the rape charge and 55-247 months (4.58-20.58 years) for the kidnapping charge.

Ross requested a court-appointed attorney. Judge Roth appointed Russ Roe, of Onaga, to the case.

Ross is the primary suspect in the death of Alheli Alcantara. Her body was found Sunday morning near a Quality Inn in Manhattan. Alcantara and Ross worked together at a Topeka restaurant Saturday evening.

Authorities are releasing no further details on where the murder occurred, how Alcantara died or a motive for the killing. The cause of death is listed as trauma and blood loss.

Alcantara was 18 years old. She recently moved to Topeka from Manhattan, where she graduated high school.