charged with murder; bond at $1 million
A murder charge has been filed against the only man authorities
ever considered a suspect in the recent killing of a 32-year-old
Platte City resident.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd on Monday filed charges
of murder in the second degree and armed criminal action
against Jacob E. McGinnis, 24, of Kansas City, in the
death of Steven J. Sandoval.
McGinnis (Editor's note: After various spellings of his
name could be found in court documents and police paperwork
last week, officials this week reported that McGinnis
is the correct spelling) entered a plea of not guilty
in an arraignment on the murder charge Tuesday morning
before Platte County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Czamanske.
The next docket call in the murder case will be Oct. 18
at 9 a.m.
He is being held in the Platte County Detention Center
on a cash-only bond of $1 million.
As reported in last week's Landmark, McGinnis already
faces charges of rape and armed criminal action for the
alleged sexual assault of the murder victim's wife.
Sandoval's body was found around 5 a.m. on Sept. 10 on
a dead-end outer road east of Interstate 29 near North
Bethel Avenue. Authorities say he had been shot in the
back three times with a shotgun.
Platte City police, responding to a 911 hangup, arrived
at the Sandoval residence on Maple Drive about 1:30 a.m.
that morning where the rape victim alleged McGinnis, armed
with a shotgun, sexually assaulted her. Authorities believe
Sandoval had been killed prior to the rape. The couple's
three year old son was in the home at the time of the
rape, authorities say. Family members have told the media
that a nine-year-old daughter of Sandoval was not in the
home at the time.
McGinnis was arrested later that morning in Putnam County,
naked in the back of his car that was parked in a cornfield.
A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper arrested McGinnis,
believing he was high on methamphetamine. Authorities
then discovered McGinnis was wanted for questioning in
the Platte County rape and murder.
In details exclusively reported by The Landmark last
week, court documents alleged McGinnis led the rape victim
to believe that her husband was duct taped in the trunk
of McGinnis' vehicle. The victim said McGinnis and her
husband were best friends, and McGinnis had been at her
and her husband's home earlier that night. Sandoval and
McGinnis had left the Sandoval home earlier that evening
to go to an area park.
Court papers filed this week indicate police found three
spent 12-gauge shotgun rounds at the murder scene, as
well as Camel cigarette butts, empty Natural Light beer
cans, and an empty red bag of peanuts.
Later when police searched McGinnis' apartment at the
Springs on Barry Road, they found empty cans of Natural
Light beer, an empty Camel cigarette pack, and several
red bags of peanuts, court documents allege.
Court papers also detail how authorities in Putnam County
found blood on the outside of McGinnis' vehicle, bloody
clothing, a bag of peanuts, red shotgun shells similar
to the shells found at the murder scene, and a shotgun.
Zahnd said McGinnis faces up to life in prison if convicted
of the rape and murder charges.
Authorities are gathering information on McGinnis' background.
The rape victim told police that McGinnis had been in
a mental hospital at one time and was on medication. A
law enforcement source confirmed for The Landmark that
McGinnis "has a history of treatment for mental issues.
FAMILY IN TOWN
The parents of the murder victim were in Platte City at
the time of the crime spree against their son and his
wife. The parents were staying at the Comfort Inn, and
were in the area to help celebrate the third birthday
of their grandson. Steve Sandoval also had a step-daughter,
age 9. She was not in the home at the time of the sexual
The parents are residents of Garden Plain, Ks., about
15 minutes from Wichita.
According to Travis Mounts, news editor of the Times
Sentinel newspaper in nearby Goddard, Ks., Steve Sandoval's
father, Tom Sandoval, is a member of the Garden Plain
Garden Plain is a town of about 800 people, a combination
bedroom/farming community, Mounts said. The journalist
said Steve Sandoval graduated Garden Plain High School
in 1991 and later studied at St. Mary's in Leavenworth,
at which time he became familiar with the Kansas City/Platte
City area. Mounts said Sandoval family members told him
that Steve and his family had lived in the Platte City
and Kansas City area for about four years, and had been
in their current Platte City residence only about two
Steve and his wife had celebrated their fourth wedding
anniversary in March.
His obituary in last week's Landmark said Sandoval was
an accountant and attended the First Baptist Church of
Platte City, and described him as a "true Raider
fan." Local funeral services were held last Thursday.
A memorial service is planned in Garden Plain on Oct.