HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A local man accused of murder in association with a fatal hit-and-run accident from 2017 entered pleas in the case Thursday.
The state amended count one from first-degree murder to second-degree murder and Taylor Lukone entered no contest pleas to that charge and two others, including failing to stop at an accident and interference with law enforcement.
He is now convicted of murder from an incident that occurred on Sept. 21, 2017, in the 1200 block of East 4th.
At around 1 a.m., officers were called to the report of a bicyclist who had been struck by a vehicle that fled the scene. He was later identified as 51-year-old Jose Lopez. Parts of the suspect’s vehicle were left at the scene of the collision, according to police.
Lukone was driving to get cigarettes and spotted Lopez riding his bicycle. He reportedly got angry over the way Lopez had supposedly treated his mother and others. Lukone intentionally struck Lopez, who was on his bike. Lukone then left the scene.
His car was found by police in front of a residence in the 800 block of East 6th. Lukone initially claimed his car had been stolen, but later changed his story and admitted he left it there.
Sentencing in the case is set for Feb. 15. The first count alone has a sentencing range between nine and 41 years in prison.