WICHITA, Kan. – The leader of a Kansas commune who received millions of dollars in life insurance payouts from dead members will soon learn his punishment for the murder of one of them.
Fifty-five-year-old Daniel Perez faces a life sentence after a jury found him guilty last month of first-degree premeditated murder in the 2003 death of Patricia Hughes at the suburban Wichita compound that was home to the commune. Her death was considered an accident until 2011, when a woman who was 12 at the time told authorities the death was staged.
He also was found guilty of 27 other counts, including rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, sexual exploitation of a child and making false information.
Perez testified he was innocent. His attorneys have asked for his acquittal or new trial.