Baxter Springs man sentenced for role in shooting at Seneca officer

Helms, Tony Lucian

Tony Lucian Helms

NEOSHO, Mo. – A Baxter Springs, Kansas man pleads guilty for his part in shooting at a Seneca, Missouri Police Officer.

Newton County Judge Kevin Selby sentenced Tony Lucian Helms, 53, to 15 years in prison for Unlawful Use of a Weapon for Aiding or Abetting the Shooting a Firearm from a Vehicle. The Court dismissed additional counts of Assault and Armed Criminal Action.

(Related: Oklahoma man sentenced for his part in shooting at Seneca officer)

On September 12, 2o2o, a Seneca Police Officer was attempting to make a traffic stop of the vehicle carrying three suspects when he saw a back window open and a flash come from the vehicle, followed by bullets hitting the officer’s patrol vehicle. The vehicle proceeded through a fence and into a field where the occupants were able to evade pursuit. The vehicle was later located, in which  officers found numerous weapons, spent bullet casings, and bullet holes in the tailgate of the vehicle.

Helms and two other suspects were later apprehended. Bradley Ray Holmes, Jr. pleaded guilty on February 1, 2021 and also received a 15 year sentence in the Department of Corrections, the other co-defendant awaits trial and all criminal defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

“Those that commit acts of violence against our police officers must answer for their crimes and Mr. Helms is no exception. Fifteen years is a just sentence for his role in this crime. My office
continues to be committed to protecting our law enforcement from those that would endanger them,” said Newton County Prosecuting Attorney William Lynch.

The case was investigated by the Seneca Police Department and prosecuted by William Lynch and Sarah Crites, of the Newton County Prosecutor’s Office.