LENEXA, Kan. - A Johnson County Court has released court records that include new details about the murder of Clifford Preston, 78, and his stepson Brian Baskind, 47 .
On July 9, 2014, Lenexa police officers responded to the home after receiving a 911 call from a man who said he had been shot. Police arrived to find Alex Burne, 27, shot in the right side of his stomach.
In a back bedroom in the basement of the home, officers found Preston and Baskind with multiple knife wounds. Police also reportedly found a large knife and a handgun, which they believe belonged to Preston, near the men’s bodies.
Police also observed the window to the basement open and the screen removed.
Records show police interviewed Brune after he woke up from surgery. Brune reportedly told detectives that he had been kidnapped and that he did not know the two men. He told police he was forced into the basement, but then discovered a “long knife” on the side table and decided to try and escape through the basement window.
Brune is alleged to have told police Baskind noticed him trying to escape and a struggle ensued where Brune claimed he was shot in the stomach. He reported to police he stabbed the men in self-defense.
Police contacted several witnesses, including Brune’s wife, and analyzed surveillance video from traffic cameras to track the vehicles involved.
The records, known as probable cause statements, were previously closed records in Kansas even though they were available in every other state. However, a change in state law now allows the records to be opened after a review by the prosecutor, the defense, and a judge.
Those parties are able to ask a judge to redact information they feel may jeopardize their case before making those records to the public.
There are two significant paragraphs redacted from the records which presumably talk about the conclusions police made from their investigation of Brune’s stories. Information about what they found that poked holes in that story and lead to prosecutors charging Brune with first degree murder, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary are not included in the documents.