Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Prosecutors: ‘Heinous, cruel’ crime deserves death penalty

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 4/23/2014

Kaylie Bailey walked into a nightmare. And it cost the 21-year-old woman her life.

Kyle Trevor Flack, 28, swung side-to-side in his chair Tuesday morning in Franklin County District Court as he listened to prosecutors say they would seek the death penalty against him in a spring 2013 quadruple homicide at a rural home west of Ottawa where Bailey and her 18-month-old daughter, Lana Bailey, were killed with a shotgun in the master bedroom.

Kaylie Bailey walked into a nightmare. And it cost the 21-year-old woman her life.

Kyle Trevor Flack, 28, swung side-to-side in his chair Tuesday morning in Franklin County District Court as he listened to prosecutors say they would seek the death penalty against him in a spring 2013 quadruple homicide at a rural home west of Ottawa where Bailey and her 18-month-old daughter, Lana Bailey, were killed with a shotgun in the master bedroom.

With Flack exercising his option to remain silent at Tuesday’s arraignment and forgo his right to a speedy trial, District Judge Eric W. Godderz entered a not guilty plea on Flack’s behalf to all five counts in the complaint and set the defendant’s jury trial to begin in 17 months at 9 a.m. Sept. 21, 2015, in district court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, filed a notice with the court Tuesday morning during Flack’s arraignment which outlined aggravated circumstances that justified the death penalty being imposed if Flack was convicted of capital murder in the killing of Bailey and her daughter. The document, signed by Hunting and Derek Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, said Kaylie Bailey was killed to cover up two other murders that had taken place sometime earlier on the property at 3197 Georgia Road and to prevent her from serving as a witness in any criminal proceedings.

Bailey and her daughter were killed in the same bedroom where the body of her reported lover, Andrew Stout, 30, was found, Dr. Erik Mitchell, a Kansas City, Kan., forensics pathologist who performed autopsies on the four victims, testified during Flack’s preliminary hearing March 11-12. Stout had been shot at least five times by a shotgun, Mitchell testified.

The body of the fourth victim, Steven White, 31, was discovered in a detached out-building that served as a garage. He died as the result of two shotgun wounds to the chest and head, either of which would have been fatal, Mitchell said. Law enforcement officials believe White and Stout were killed before the Baileys arrived at the homestead, perhaps several days in White’s case.

The three adult bodies were discovered May 6 and May 7 on the property. Lana’s body was discovered May 11 inside a suitcase that had been tossed into Tequa Creek, just across the county line in Osage County near I-35, a direct route to Emporia where Flack was apprehended May 8. He later was charged in Franklin County in connection with the four killings. Mitchell’s testimony at the preliminary hearing indicated Lana Bailey had been killed in the same bedroom with her mother at about the same time, also by a single shotgun wound.

Kaylie Bailey’s body was found near Stout’s on the bedroom floor. Both bodies had been covered with a pile of clothing and bedding, forensics experts testified at the preliminary hearing. Bailey, who died as the result of a single shotgun wound to the back of the neck, had been gagged with a bandana and her wrists had been bound behind her back with a black plastic Zip Tie. She also was naked from the waist down, law enforcement officials said.

In the list of aggravated circumstances, prosecutors asserted the crime against Bailey had been committed in an “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner.”

Because Bailey was the only victim who had been gagged and bound and had clothing removed, prosecutors tried to argue that Flack had intended to rape her. District Judge Thomas H. Sachse, who presided over the preliminary hearing, dismissed the attempted rape charge — the only charge dismissed in the five-count complaint — because of insufficient evidence. Sachse bound over Flack for arraignment on the other four charges. Hunting filed an amended complaint Tuesday that added a charge of misdemeanor sexual battery against the defendant.

Another aggravated circumstance cited Flack had been convicted of attempted second-degree murder in the May 2, 2005, shooting of Ottawa resident Steven Dale Free, who reportedly had fired Flack from a job earlier that day. Flack shot Free five times with a small-caliber handgun near a garage on Free’s property in Ottawa. Free survived the attack but died in December 2011.

If Flack is convicted of the capital murder charge, the prosecution team of Hunting, Vic Braden, deputy Kansas attorney general, and James Ward, assistant Franklin County attorney, have asked the court for a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to death.

Prosecutors also filed a notice with the court Tuesday of their intention to seek a “Hard 50” sentence in each of the first-degree murder charges leveled at Flack in the killing of Stout and White. If convicted and a Hard 50 sentence is imposed, Flack would not be eligible for parole for 50 years.

If the defendant is convicted in the first-degree murder charges, the prosecution also has requested that a separate sentencing proceeding take place to determine if the Hard 50 sentence should be imposed.

Flack also faces a felony charge of criminal possession of a firearm. Flack cannot lawfully possess a firearm because of his felony conviction in the 2005 shooting.

On Monday, one of Flack’s attorneys, Tim Frieden, filed a waiver to Flack’s right to a speedy trial.

Godderz, who is presiding over the remainder of the case, asked Flack Tuesday morning if it was his intention to give up his right to a speedy trial.

“Yeah,” the bearded Flack replied.

Flack remains in the Franklin County Adult Detention Center on $10 million bond. He is being represented by Wichita-based attorney Frieden and Ronald Evans, chief attorney for the Topeka-based Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit, which represents defendants accused of capital murder crimes.

In setting Flack’s trial for Sept. 21, 2015, Godderz blocked out more than five weeks for the trial through Oct. 30, 2015.

Other motion hearings are expected to take place between now and the trial in 2015. The judge scheduled a hearing 9 a.m. June 6 to hear any new motions in the case.

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