Man charged with capital murder in Newton deaths

NEWTON, Kan. (KWCH) Update (5:00 p.m.): The man charged in the deaths of a Newton mother and daughter made his first appearance in court on Friday.

Keith Hawkins waived his extradition in Texas Friday morning. He was transported back to Kansas.

During a Friday afternoon media briefing, Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said Hawkins was charged with two counts of the first-degree murder in each person's death and capital murder for killing them both at the same time.

A motion to seek the death penalty has not been filed at this time.

"That is something that is still on the table and being considered," said Yoder.

He said he first wants to sit down with the families of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and four-year-old Zaylynn Paz before making a decision.

Yoder said a primary motive for the crime is being developed but he would not release any other details and said the investigation continues.

He said Hawkins and Runyon knew each other and he was her residence with her knowledge on a voluntarily basis.

Yoder said the crime was committed sometime between late Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

It is possible Hawkins could face other charges in the case, but Yoder said his office has to await forensic information, autopsy results and other updates from the investigation before making that determination.

Hawkins is being held in the Harvey County Detention Center on a $2.5 million bond.

Update (3:54 p.m.): Eyewitness News has learned that the man charged in the deaths of a Newton mother and daughter is back in Kansas.

Today, Keith Hawkins was transported from Texas jail back to Harvey County.

According to the Harvey County jail's online site, Hawkins was booked into jail for capital murder and first-degree premeditated murder on Friday afternoon.

He's being held in jail on a $2.5 million bond.

The Harvey County Attorney has scheduled a news conference at 4:30 p.m. to discuss Hawkins' extradition.

You can watch the briefing here live on

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The suspect in a double homicide in Newton that killed a mother and her daughter is no longer in a Texas jail. The jail in Texas said he was released to the State of Kansas.

Keith Hawkins was arrested for the murders of 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and her daughter, 4-year-old Zaylynn Paz. Officers in Texas caught him after he fled Newton.

He was facing charges in Texas for evading arrest and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The law states he would have to face those charges in Texas before he can be extradited to Kansas to face his accused crimes here.

Friday, Williamson County Jail records show Hawkins' Texas charges were dropped or dismissed and he was released to another agency. Records show he was released Friday.