Suspected Killer Waives Preliminary Hearing

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WESTMORELAND, Kan. - Accused murderer Deon Ross, 24, Topeka, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday morning in Pottawatomie County Court.

Ross is charged with felony murder, rape and kidnapping in the death of Alheli Alcantara.

The 18 year-old victim was found outside of a hotel east of Manhattan in Pottawatomie Co. in October. The body was located near the boundary for Pottawatomie and Riley County jurisdiction, but even though in Manhattan, was still on the Pottawatomie County side. Ross was arrested a few days later in Topeka on suspicion of murder. He and Alcantara were coworkers at a Burger King restaurant in Topeka.

Ross' mom, dad, brother and a male cousin attended Thursday's preliminary hearing. Many of Alcantara's family members were also in attendance.

No member of the Alcantara, nor any member of the Ross, families cared to comment after the hearing. Ross was taken back into custody and will be held until a formal arraignment February 20 at 9 a.m.

Ross's first hearing lsted about ten minutes with the suspect remaining mostly silent the entire time. After the judge read the charges against Ross and asked whether he understood those charges, he responded in a barely audible voice, "Yes, sir."