December 19, 2018
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Maine man found guilty of murder in Kansas man’s death

Kansas Bureau of Investigation | BDN
Kansas Bureau of Investigation | BDN
Robert Colson, 35, of Bucksport.

A Kansas jury found a Bucksport man guilty of murder Friday for fatally shooting a local man five times in his home last August, according to a Kansas newspaper.

Robert Colson, 35, was convicted on five counts — including first-degree and second-degree felony murder — stemming from the killing of Tescott resident Matthew Schoshke, who was found dead in his bathroom on Aug. 11, 2017, the Salina Journal reported.

Colson, who showed no emotion as the judge read the guilty verdict in the Minneapolis, Kansas, courtroom, was also convicted on theft and burglary charges for breaking into Scholske’s home and stealing his Springfield XD Compact .45-caliber handgun, which he used to gun the man down, the paper reported.

Colson then stole Scholske’s 2006 Ford F-150 pickup truck, taking Schoshke’s gun, wallet, cellphone and his dog, Zeus, with him.

Colson remained at large for two weeks until Kansas authorities traced him to California, where he was arrested on Aug. 27, 2017. Police first found the abandoned truck, then arrested Colson the next day after the Bucksport man allegedly stabbed a person aboard an Amtrak train in Martinez, California, and was hospitalized in his attempt to flee the locomotive.

It took the jury 90 minutes on Friday to reach a guilty verdict after they heard trial testimony that shed greater light on the crime. In her closing argument, a Kansas state prosecutor stated that Colson left a trail of evidence that identified him as the murderer, including that his DNA was found inside Schoske’s abandoned truck, and witnesses spotted him ditching the vehicle in California, according to the Salina Journal.

Colson found himself in Kansas that night in August because he missed a stop on a cross-country bus trip from Maine to California, that began on Aug. 7, the prosecutor said.

After missing the stop, Colson started walking toward the next bus station in Salina, Kansas. But he changed his direction, heading east on a nearby highway and eventually to Schoske’s house, arriving there around 8:30 p.m. “Lying in wait,” Colson hid Schoske’s bedroom until the Federal Express employee came home, then shot the man with his own gun, the prosecutor said, according to the paper. Then Colson stole Schoske’s truck, belongings and dog, before continuing on to California, the paper reported.

In his client’s defense, Colson’s attorney cast doubt that there was substantial evidence to prove that Colson pulled the trigger.

Colson is set to be sentenced for the crime on Aug. 14, in Ottawa County District Court, according to the newspaper.

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