Trial delayed in Washburn football player from Lee's Summit's murder

Posted: 5:48 PM, Feb 17, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-17 18:48:52-05
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Dwane Simmons

TOPEKA — A trial will be delayed for the suspect in the shooting death of a former Washburn University football player and the wounding of another player who went on to play for the New York Giants.

Francisco Alejandro Mendez was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday in the April 2019 death of Dwane Simmons and the wounding of Corey Ballentine, who played for the New York Giants last season.

Instead, Mendez will undergo testing to determine if he is competent to stand trial, a Shawnee County District Court judge ruled last week, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

The competency hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27. A new trial date has not been set.

Mendez, 18, was charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder after the April 28 shooting in Topeka. Authorities said the shooting occurred just hours after Ballentine was drafted, while he and his friends were celebrating.

Mendez faces three more counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at three other Washburn players, who weren't hit, and seven other counts for unrelated crimes.

Simmons, a Lee's Summit West graduate, was 23 when he was shot from a passing vehicle leaving a party with Ballentine.

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41 Action News staff contributed to this report.