KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) -- The father of two children whose remains were found in a shallow grave more than three
years after they disappeared confessed publicly and was charged Tuesday in their shootings.Dan Porter is swarmed by reporters
Tuesday as he is taken back to jail in Independence, Missouri.
Dan Porter, 44, is already serving a 38-year prison term for kidnapping his son, Sam, 7, and daughter, Lindsey, 8, in
order to terrorize their mother.
He was charged Tuesday with two counts of first-degree murder.
Speaking to reporters after a brief court appearance, Porter admitted he killed his children, apologized and said he thinks
about them all the time.
"I can't get them out of my mind," he said as he was escorted from the courtroom to a sheriff's van.
The children's bones were found in September in a wooded area near the Missouri River in nearby Sugar Creek and were identified
using dental records. The children had been missing since Porter picked them up at their mother's house for a weekend visit
in the summer of 2004.
Porter offered no explanation for shooting his son and daughter.
"Could any man come up with an excuse for that? Is there such an excuse?" he asked.
According to the probable cause statement filed with the charges, Porter told investigators that he had planned to kill
his children for at least a day before he picked them up from his estranged wife, Tina Porter; the couple have since divorced.
Jackson County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar said before the hearing that the children were killed with a handgun, but he did
not provide additional details. He said he would decide within the next month whether to seek the death penalty.
"There is absolutely no explanation for actions like this," he said.
During Tuesday's hearing, a judge read the charges and not-guilty pleas were entered for Porter, who appeared in an orange
prison jumpsuit, shackled at his wrists and ankles. He did not yet have an attorney.
A preliminary hearing was set for December 19.
After his arrest on the kidnapping charges, Porter told authorities several stories about what he had done with his children,
including that he had cut them up and that he had strangled them.
On September 7, he told prison officials and the FBI where to find the bodies, according to the probable cause statement.
The area where the children's remains were found is where Dan and Tina Porter met to swap the children. Police said Dan
Porter had asked her to meet him near the area so they could exchange vehicles.
Tina Porter, 44, of Independence, has said he tried to get her to drive her pickup into the woods by telling her that he
had stashed $50,000 there and wanted to get it. She refused.
Prosecutors have advised Tina Porter not to talk to reporters, said Van Buckley, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.
Jury receives molestation case
September 05, 2007
Shawnee County District Court jurors deliberated for more than five hours hours Tuesday on whether to acquit a 57-year-old
man on charges he sexually assaulted three young girls, two of whom are his granddaughters.
Jurors either can acquit Robert Charles Longstaff, of Topeka, or convict him of two counts of rape of a child younger than
14 or, in the alternative, two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 and one count of aggravated
indecent liberties with a child.
At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the jury of seven men and five women recessed for the day. The jury asked to hear the readback of
testimony by the two younger girls.
During the trial, the two granddaughters of Longstaff and a first cousin of the other two girls took the witness stand
to tell jurors that Longstaff had sexually assaulted them.
Longstaff's daughter, 33, also told jurors Longstaff raped her two days after Thanksgiving in 2004 and had molested her
as a child.
Assistant district attorney Daniel Dunbar noted the three victims were 8 or younger when they were assaulted and wouldn't
know about the sexual details they described unless they were assaulted.
To acquit Longstaff, Dunbar said, jurors would have to think there is a conspiracy between the mother of two girls, a Topeka
police investigator, an investigator who interviewed the girls, the paternal grandmother of two of the girls, and nurses who
investigated the reported assaults. A conspiracy would stretch the imagination, Dunbar said.
Dunbar told jurors not to let Longstaff get away with the sexual assaults, to be strong like the victims who came forward
to testify against him in court, and to convict him.
Michael Francis, Longstaff's defense attorney, contended there was reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case against his
Longstaff's 8-year-old granddaughter last week avoided looking at him, wouldn't say his name in court and wrote his first
name, "Bob," on a sheet of paper. The girl wouldn't say out loud who touched her vagina, but acknowledged it was Longstaff
when Dunbar asked whether the name on the paper was her assailant.
The granddaughter's cousin said "Bob" touched her vagina while she sat on his lap in his rocking chair.
An 11-year-old granddaughter used a purple pen last week to circle the breasts, vagina and buttocks to indicate "bad touch"
locations on a girl's body, then pointed to the circled vagina as the place Longstaff touched her twice when she was 8.
In 1989, Longstaff pleaded no contest in Shawnee County District Court to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated incest
of his daughter, then was placed on five years of probation, court records said. Longstaff originally was charged with aggravated
incest in that case.
This is the second time Longstaff has been tried on these charges. The first trial ended Dec. 14 in a mistrial after that
jury viewed a videotape that hadn't been properly redacted.
Steve Fry can be reached at (785) 295-1206 or steve.fry@cjonline com