Woman charged with murder following stabbing

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
Eva O. Banks

A Leavenworth woman has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the stabbing death of her fiance.

Eva O. Banks, 39, was arrested Saturday morning after police officers and other emergency personnel were called to a residence in the 2500 block of Fourth Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. for a report of a stabbing, according to Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens.

Life-saving measures were attempted, but the victim, Jerrold Rhodes, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The focus of the investigation appears to be that of domestic violence," Kitchens said.

Rhodes and Banks apparently were engaged and had been living together.

"They had some sort of argument," Kitchens said.

Two other people, an adult and juvenile, were at the residence at the time of the incident. But no other injuries were reported.

Banks appeared Monday afternoon in Leavenworth County District Court. She was advised of the second-degree murder charge by District Judge Gerald Kuckelman.

The judge said the sentence for second-degree murder could range from about 12 years to 54 years in prison depending on a person's criminal history.

Banks indicated she plans to hire an attorney. Kuckelman said she can seek appointed counsel if she is unable to hire a lawyer.

Banks is scheduled to appear in court with her attorney June 23.

Kuckelman said he would set bond once a bond screen is completed in the case.

Banks appeared for Monday's hearing from the Leavenworth County Jail through the Zoom online videoconferencing service.

Zoom is being used for many proceedings of Leavenworth County District Court because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the third homicide reported in the city of Leavenworth this year.

The first homicide of the year was the April 14 shooting death of 12-year-old Brian Henderson Jr.

Darvon Thomas and a juvenile face first-degree murder charges in connection to Henderson's death.

The second homicide was the May 4 shooting death of Floyd E. Ross Jr.

Cordell M. Stewart is charged with first-degree murder in connection to Ross' death.

Three homicides also were reported last year in the city of Leavenworth. One of them, the Aug. 16 shooting death of Matthew Smith, remains unsolved.

Kitchens said he is proud of the Police Department's detectives for the work they have done during the past year.

"They have really worked hard," he said.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR