Jury finds Wichita man, previously convicted of murder, guilty of killing girlfriend

A jury found a 43-year-old Wichita man — who previously had spent about 20 years in prison for murder — guilty of first-degree murder in the 2019 Christmas Eve killing of his girlfriend.

Jurors, on Friday, deliberated for just over 4.5 hours before finding Ahmad Khaasanouva Bey guilty of the murder charge and criminal possession of a weapon by a felon in the killing of 41-year-old Melinda K. Sprague, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Bey is scheduled to be sentenced March 22.

Sprague’s body was found stuffed in the trunk of her car behind a business in the 1500 block of East Harry a couple days after she was killed. A coworker reported her missing when she didn’t show up for work on Christmas Eve.

Bey’s ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Lynne Waner, was previously charged with concealing, destroying or altering evidence in the killing, but that charge was later dropped. Waner told police she drove Sprague’s car and left it behind the business, according to an affidavit released in the case.

Waner said she left the car there because it didn’t have enough gas to run an errand for her roommate and ex-boyfriend, Bey, the affidavit says. She told police she didn’t know Sprague’s body was in the trunk.

Bey was on parole for a 1999 Pittsburg, Kansas, killing when he was arrested in Sprague’s death.

He had been in prison just about 20 years for second-degree murder in the killing of 19-year-old Victor L. Conger, according to media reports and Kansas Department of Corrections records.

Bey and his younger brother, Yusif Rashed Bey, were walking from Dillons when they saw Conger counting money in a car, according to the Parsons Sun.

Yusif Bey, who was convicted of first-degree murder, shot Conger while Ahmad Bey put the car in park before they left with the money, the newspaper reported. Yusif Bey was released on parole in 2021, KDOC records show.

The Bey brothers were 18 and 17 when the killing happened.

Yusif Bey has more than 60 disciplinary reports from his time in prison, KDOC records show; Ahmad Bey has 24.