Sex Crimes

Trial winding up for Kansas commune leader accused of murder, living off life insurance

The trial of a Kansas commune leader accused of killing a member and living off life insurance payouts is wrapping up this week.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday in the trial of 55-year-old Daniel Perez. He faces more than 35 charges, including first-degree premeditated murder in the 2003 drowning death of 26-year-old Patricia Hughes at the group's compound in the Wichita suburb of Valley Center. Her death was considered an accident for several years.

During the trial, several women testified that Perez, who is also known as Lou Castro, coerced them into sexual encounters when they were underage. Others testified about millions of dollars in life insurance policies sold to people associated with Perez who later died.

Perez testified and denied all the allegations.