TOPEKA, Kan. — A Topeka teenager has been sentenced in the death of his friend’s mother who was killed in 2021.
Amadeus Ballou-Meyer was sentenced to life in prison and must serve a minimum of 50 years before he is eligible for parole, according to the Shawnee County District Attorney. He pled guilty to first-degree premeditated murder earlier this year, KSNT reports.
On April 24, 2021, law enforcement responded to a home on James Street when a caller reported that his mother was dead. Upon arrival, officers found the body of Hester Workman laying in the attached garage.
The caller was Workman’s 16-year-old son who found Hester when he and his friend arrived at the home. Workman was suffering from severe trauma to her head and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement conducted a neighborhood canvas over the next two days and collected surveillance videos from neighboring residences.
The investigation revealed that just before Workman’s son arrived at the home, neighbors saw — and cameras captured — a juvenile male running from the house with a baseball bat.
Workman’s son said as a distraction from his mother’s death, he invited his best friend over.
“I hung out with Amadeus the day after it happened,” the teen previously told KSNT. “He hugged me and told me he couldn’t imagine what it was like to lose a parent.”
The next day, the teen watched a neighbor’s security camera footage and identified the person running from his home with the bat as Ballou-Meyer — his best friend.
“This man’s been to my house three days a week for months,” Workman’s son said.
After Ballou-Meyer was arrested, he confessed to sneaking into the house where he tried to “scare” Workman by pushing her as she came up the steps from the garage and into the house.
Workman fell backward and hit her head. He confessed that he panicked and picked up a baseball bat and started hitting her with it. He then fled the scene and threw the bat into the Shunga Creek. The bat had already been recovered by a civilian and was turned over to police.