ATCHISON, Kan. — Some resolution in the alleged murder of a Northeast Kansas man last fall is possible by the end of spring.
Three defendants with ties to Atchison — 30-year-old Matthew "Cole" Scherer, Brian A. Spilman Jr., 23, and 44-year-old Scott A. Vandeloo — each have obtained release on charges of second-degree murder in the death of Jason W. Pantle on Sept. 28, 2019. Pantle, 42 at the time of his passing, died at a Kansas City, Kansas, hospital just under a week after being severely beaten at a private party in the settlement of Doniphan, Kansas.
On Wednesday, Spilman, who had been confined at the Doniphan County Jail in Troy, Kansas, up to that point, appeared before a judge as did Vandeloo. Vandeloo and Scherer have been free on bond since late 2019. A continuance for Vandeloo was granted, and he will next appear at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, for a status conference with his attorney.
Spilman has been bound over for trial by jury, and will next appear at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May, 6, for a pre-trial hearing. Spilman's trial, if it proceeds as planned, is expected to begin later that month and end before May 31. Scherer is scheduled to appear at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, with his attorney for a previously scheduled status conference.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation investigated Pantle's death, initially charged as aggravated battery. The KBI examined the scene of the party and conducted witness interviews, mainly at Atchison Police Department headquarters. The three defendants were arrested late September 2019. Doniphan County Attorney Charles Baskins, who is prosecuting the case, upgraded the charges to second-degree murder in December 2019.