Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Accused killer faces rape, capital murder charges

By DOUG CARDER and ABBY CROSTHWAIT, Herald Senior Writers | 5/10/2013

A surly Kyle Trevor Flack, clad in an orange-striped jumpsuit and scruffy beard, rolled his eyes and gazed around the courtroom Friday as District Judge Eric Godderz read the capital murder and rape charges against him in connection with a quadruple homicide in rural Ottawa.

Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, filed the charges against Flack, 27, about 4 p.m. Friday in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa. Godderz set Flack’s bond at $10 million.

A surly Kyle Trevor Flack, clad in an orange-striped jumpsuit and scruffy beard, rolled his eyes and gazed around the courtroom Friday as District Judge Eric Godderz read the capital murder and rape charges against him in connection with a quadruple homicide in rural Ottawa.

Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, filed the charges against Flack, 27, about 4 p.m. Friday in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa. Godderz set Flack’s bond at $10 million.

The bodies discovered Monday and Tuesday at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa, were those of Kaylie Bailey, 21, Andrew Stout, 30, and Steven White, 31, Sheriff Jeff Richards said Wednesday afternoon.

Bailey, along with Lana Bailey, her 1 1/2-year-old daughter, were reported missing May 3. Stout and White reportedly hadn’t been seen since April 25. Lana Bailey is presumed dead and a victim of homicide, Richards said. Search teams had yet to find her body Friday evening.

Flack is charged with one count of capital murder in connection with the three homicides and one count of capital murder in connection with the rape and murder of Kaylie Bailey, according to the three-page criminal complaint filed Friday in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

Both capital murder charges are eligible for the death penalty. Flack also has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder — one count for each homicide — along with one count of rape.

“The rape charge goes to facts and information of what evidence shows happened at that particular house,” Hunting said. “That’s what brought forth the rape charges.”

When asked by a reporter how the rape charge related to Lana, Hunting responded, “I didn’t say that the rape charge was connected to Lana in any way, shape or form.”

Flack also was charged Friday with one count of criminal possession of a firearm.

“A firearm was used in this case, but no specific detail on the cause or manner of death,” Hunting told reporters Friday afternoon. “A firearm was used against all the victims.”

First court appearance

During Flack’s first appearance before Godderz, the judge asked him if he was Kyle Flack.

“Yes,” Flack said as he looked down at the complaint on the table in front of him.

“Can you read and write?” Godderz asked.

“Yeah,” a smirking Flack replied.

Flack rolled his eyes as Godderz read each of the eight criminal counts against him. When the judge read the rape count, Flack looked down and shook his head.

When Godderz had finished reading the charges, Flack leaned back in his chair. “Do I get a lawyer?”

“I’m getting to that,” Godderz said in a level voice.

Godderz asked Flack if he could afford an attorney.

Flack shook his head.

Godderz appointed Topeka attorney Ronald Evans to represent Flack. The judge said Evans was a defense attorney who handled capital murder cases.

The judge told Flack he had read the documents filed with the criminal complaint and that he was satisfied there was probable cause to hold Flack on the charges.

Hunting asked Godderz to set the bond at $10 million, citing the nature of the crimes and the defendant’s criminal history.

Godderz granted Hunting’s bond request and set Flack’s next court appearance 1:30 p.m. Monday.

“Will I get to talk with my lawyer before I come back [to court Monday]?” Flack asked.

Godderz told Flack he would contact Evans when the proceeding was over Friday afternoon. He told Flack that Evans likely would come and see him before Monday’s hearing.

“Be nice,” Flack said. “Sooner I see him the sooner we can wrap this up.”

As the shackled Flack got to his feet, he turned toward Hunting and James Ward, assistant county attorney.

“You boys need to get ready,” Flack was heard saying as he turned away and was led out of the courtroom.

Flack appeared indifferent as he shuffled out of court — unlike minutes earlier when he made an obscene gesture at the media and others who had gathered to record and watch Richards, Undersheriff Rick Geist and five uniformed officers escorting Flack from the Franklin County Detention Center to the district courtroom next door.

Flack, who was arrested 5 a.m. Thursday and booked into Franklin County Jail in connection with the homicides, listed the scene of the crimes — 3197 Georgia Road — as his address on the booking report.  

After Flack’s court appearance, Sheriff Richards was accompanied by additional law enforcement officials to a press conference in front of the sheriff’s office, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa. Some of those officials included Ottawa Police Chief Dennis Butler, Capt. Steven Zeller of the Kansas Highway Patrol, Geist, Hunting and Ward.

“There’s a few more agencies that have joined us because it’s more representative of what our investigation looks like,” Richards said. “Over 150 investigators are out following up on investigative leads and still conducting searches. It does continue and will continue until we have a full resolution in this case.”

Capital murder charges

During the press conference, Hunting explained the reason for the two capital murder charges.

“The capital murder charges were based off two specific theories,” Hunting said. “Multiple people died at around the same time and were similar in the same transaction. Essentially three people were all murdered by the same person at the same time. The other charge is that one of those individuals, prior to being murdered, they were raped.”

Hunting did not comment on whether his office would seek the death penalty against Flack, but the capital murder charges leave the option available, he said.

“That is a determination that will take place over a course of time,” Hunting said. “We are still waiting on all the evidence, all the facts and information to come over. There are many things to consider in that case. It’s not a decision any of us, law enforcement or prosecution, take lightly, so that is something we will be discussing considerably.”

The charges for capital murder, as opposed to all being charges of murder in the first degree, were based on the facts and evidence the attorney’s office had received, Hunting said.

“ ... The crime that specifically fits the charge is, in fact, capital murder as well as all the other charges listed in the complaint,” he said. “Charging determination was based on the facts and evidence that we have.”

Search for Lana

Richards addressed why the help of the community had not been sought in searching for Lana, even though the scale of the crime scene is so large.

“Right now where we’re searching, we could potentially stumble upon a crime scene and therefore we need trained individuals and people that have the skills and possess those things readily available if there happens to be any type of evidence discovery,” Richards said. “And for the integrity of [the crime scene], and that’s why we’ve called in the assistance of all these different law enforcement agencies.”

The search for baby Lana has extended to Emporia, where the car associated with Kaylie Bailey and Lana was recovered, Richards said.

“ ... So we could potentially have a very large area,” he said. “We have dive teams in ponds, rivers and streams. We’re searching anywhere that we can.”

The search for Lana will continue until she is brought back to her family, Richards said, restating that just because they have someone in custody, that doesn’t mean the search is over.

Bailey and her daughter were last seen at the Georgia Road residence, the sheriff’s office said previously, where Stout and White had lived with Flack. Bailey reportedly was in a relationship with Stout. Her body was found Monday in a detached garage on the property. The two men were found Monday and Tuesday in the home, according to the sheriff’s office. Frontier Forensics began conducting autopsies on the three bodies at 6 p.m. Tuesday to determine a cause or manner of death for each of the bodies.

Authorities had been searching for Flack, as well as a black 2007 Toyota Corolla he allegedly was driving. The vehicle was recovered 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Emporia. Flack later was located about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday outside Franklin County, reportedly in the Emporia area. The vehicle had been last seen with Bailey and her daughter at the farm.

An Ottawa woman acquainted with Flack’s family said his mother lives in Emporia.

Shawn Bailey, Lana’s father, is held in the Laclede County Jail in Lebanon, Mo., on two unrelated bonds of $50,000 each in relation to receiving stolen property, burglary and probation violation, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. He arrived at the jail Jan. 17, 2013.

Individuals with information about the quadruple homicide, the 2007 Carolla or the location of Lana Bailey’s body are encouraged to call the Franklin County Crime Stoppers at (888) 311-TIPS or (888) 311-8477, submit a tip through Franklin County Crime Stopper’s Facebook account, text tip to 274637 (begin text with keyword “Franklin”) or online at www.tipsoft.com. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Franklin County Crime Stoppers pays as much as $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of any person or persons committing a crime in Franklin County.

“We will continue our search throughout the evening and throughout the weekend,” Richards said Friday. “We will continue our searches and every effort forward to bring Lana home to her family.”

Troubled past

Flack was convicted in 2005 of intentional attempted murder in the second degree after he plead no contest to the charge in the May 2005 shooting of Steven Dale Free, then-47, according to district court documents.

District Judge Thomas Sachse sentenced Flack to 59 months in prison, the midpoint sentence for a person with no criminal history who commits a Level 3 person felony. The presumed prison sentence in the case was 55 months to 61 months, according to court documents. The 59-month term was part of a plea agreement reached between the defense and county prosecutors in exchange for Flack’s no contest plea.

Flack’s presentence evaluation showed he had no criminal background, but did have a history of mental illness.

Flack was paroled in 2009 after serving less than four years in prison.

Free was found in the yard near a mobile home at Third and Cherry streets after being shot five times with a small caliber gun, Stephanie Ingram, Free’s sister, said. Free survived the incident, but died in December 2011.

Ingram said she wasn’t surprised Flack was arrested in connection with another violent crime, citing his history of mental illness. Ingram, who was friends with his mother, said Flack was taking medication for his mental condition.

Flack had shot Free, Ingram said, because her brother had fired him for being lazy on the job.

“They need to lock him up and not let him out,” she said.

Managing Editor Tommy Felts contributed to this report.

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