In Ottawa County District Court, on Monday, Judge Rene Young bound Robert W. Colson of Bucksport, Maine over for trial on one count of intentional second-degree murder or an alternative charge of first-degree murder during commission of an inherently dangerous felony as well as two counts of theft and burglary related to the murder of Matthew Schoshke of Tescott back on August 11 of last year. The trial, which is expected to last about eight days, is set to start June 11. A motions hearing was set for 10:30 a.m. March 13, and a pretrial hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 8.
After shooting Schoshke five times with the gun he kept by his bed, Colson put on one of Schoshke’s T-shirts and his ball cap and drove to California in his pickup truck with his dog, Zeus, according to testimony Monday at the preliminary hearing.
Schoshke’s father, Gary, testified that his son had still been wearing his Fed-Ex uniform when he stopped at his parents’ house for supper after work on Aug. 11.
Adam Gorrell, a friend of the Schoshke family, said he and his family were driving west toward Tescott for hamburgers between 8:30 and 8:45 p.m. that day when he saw Schoske’s 2006 silver Ford F-150 eastbound, approaching Schoske’s house, on Kansas Highway 18. On his return trip from Tescott, he slowed as he came to Schoshke’s house. He said if he had seen Schoshke outside, he would have pulled in for a visit, but although his truck was parked on the east side of the house, his friend wasn’t visible. Gorrell, who had a sleeping child in his vehicle, said he decided to keep going.
Jared Koster testified that Schoshke had said he would meet Koster and others at the Sandstone Saloon in Brookville after eating dinner with his folks, but first, he had to stop by home and let Zeus out. When Matt hadn’t arrived by 9:45 p.m., Koster said he texted his friend, asking if he’d gotten lost. There was no response.
Gary Schoshke testified that he expected to see Matt on the morning of Aug. 12, when he was going to help gather bulls out of the pastures on his parents’ ranch. When Matt didn’t show, his father thought perhaps he’d had vehicle trouble. Gorrell said Matt’s brother, Layne, called and asked if he could run by and see if he was home. Gorrell, who was in a field working ground to plant alfalfa, asked his wife to drive by and look for Schoshke’s truck.
By that evening, when no one had heard from him, Gorrell said he and his brother-in-law returned to Schoshke’s house. He said Zeus was not in his pen, although it was latched, and Matt’s truck was gone. He walked around the house and found a south door unlocked. The jamb of an interior door leading into the laundry room appeared to be damaged.
Gorrell said he walked through the darkened house and entered Matt’s bedroom. The door to the bathroom was shut, and when they pushed it open, they found Matt’s body lying on the floor. He was still wearing his Fed-Ex uniform.
Colson was arrested in California days later after an altercation on an Amtrack train which led police to ID him as the suspect in the Kansas murder.