Iolan Amber Boeken pleaded guilty Monday to her role in the March 13, 2016, murder of Iolan Shawn Cook, and in so doing, provided the first public accounting of the circumstances surrounding Cook’s death.
Boeken, 25, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to an amended complaint of second-murder.
In so doing, Boeken has agreed to testify against three other co-defendants charged in the killing.
District Judge Daniel Creitz scheduled sentencing for April 10.
AS PART OF her plea, Boeken had her attorney, Mary Stephenson, Paola, read an accounting of what happened to Cook before and after he was killed.
“On March 13, 2016, Ms. Boeken was with another individual, Josh Knapp,” Stephenson said. “There had been an argument going on between Josh Knapp and Shawn Cook.”
Neither Boeken nor Stephenson indicated what the men were arguing about.
“At some point, Mr. Knapp came to Ms. Boeken’s residence,” Stephenson continued. “Mr. Cook got into a vehicle with Mr. Knapp. Ms. Boeken also went along.”
The group went to an undisclosed location in Allen County, Stephenson said, where another argument ensued between Knapp and Cook.
“He was stabbed at that point,” Stephenson said. Boeken’s statement did not indicate who stabbed Cook.
Cook died as a result of the stabbing. His body was placed back in the vehicle and taken to the Iola home of Rhonda Jackson in the 600 block of North Oak Street, Stephenson said.
“Ms. Boeken did aid and assist in getting the body back to Rhonda Jackson’s house,” Stephenson said. “She also aided and abetted by making phone calls to get another vehicle there to help transport the body.”
A second vehicle arrived, and was used to transport Cook’s body to another location in Allen County.
Boeken “aided and abetted Mr. Knapp in regards to giving instructions and directions to take the body, where it was finally disposed of,” Stephenson concluded. “She did assist in getting the body from one vehicle to another.”
Cook’s relatives reported him missing four days later, sparking a 16-day, countywide manhunt before his body was discovered northwest of Iola along the Neosho River.
AS PART of her plea deal, Allen County Attorney Jerry Hathaway filed an amended complaint Tuesday morning, accusing her of second-degree murder.
A second-degree murder charge is warranted when a person is killed “unintentionally but recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
First-degree murder is considered premeditated.
A second-degree murder charge — rated as a level 2 person felony by the state — carries a prison sentence of at least 109 months (just over nine years) but no more than 493 months (just over 41 years.)
She also faces a fine of up to $300,000, although Stephenson indicated no fines would be assessed as part of the plea deal. Hathaway also has agreed not to file any additional charges against Boeken in relation to Cook’s death.
Two other charges against Boeken, one related to drug offenses; the other accusing her of assaulting a corrections officer, will be dismissed.