Saturday, November 01, 2014

Will statements in quadruple homicide be unsealed?

BY DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 6/6/2014

It could be late summer before a district judge issues a ruling on whether some as-yet-undisclosed statements defendant Kyle T. Flack made can be admitted as evidence in his capital murder case.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Flack, 28, in a spring 2013 quadruple homicide at a rural home west of Ottawa. The trial is set for fall 2015 in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

It could be late summer before a district judge issues a ruling on whether some as-yet-undisclosed statements defendant Kyle T. Flack made can be admitted as evidence in his capital murder case.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Flack, 28, in a spring 2013 quadruple homicide at a rural home west of Ottawa. The trial is set for fall 2015 in Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

Prosecutors have filed a motion asking the court to admit statements Flack made into evidence. It was unclear what those statements were and if they were made to investigators or other parities. The prosecution’s motion has been sealed by the court, and Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, said Friday he could not discuss the motion because it was sealed.

During a hearing Friday morning in Franklin County District Court, Tim Frieden, one of Flack’s defense attorneys, asked for a continuance to allow the defense more time to respond to the prosecutor’s motion. In the days leading up to the hearing, Frieden had filed a motion requesting additional time because the defense team had not had sufficient time to fully review the alleged statements made by Flack, and the defense still was conducting its own investigation as to the facts and circumstances regarding these statements.

Frieden requested the presentation of evidence and argument on the prosecution’s motion be set at a later date.

District Judge Eric W. Godderz granted Frieden’s motion for a continuance and set the hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 29.

Flack faces capital murder and other charges in connection with the spring 2013 quadruple homicide at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa. Three adult bodies were found on the property May 6 and May 7. The fourth, that of an 18-month-old girl, was discovered May 11 in a creek near the Osage-Franklin County line. Flack was arrested May 8 in Emporia, where one victim’s car also was recovered.

Flack faces one count of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Kaylie Bailey, 21, and her 18-month-old daughter, Lana Leigh Bailey. Kaylie Bailey’s body was discovered May 7 in the master bedroom of the modular home on the Georgia Road property. Her daughter’s body was recovered May 11 from Tequa Creek in Osage County, near the Osage-Franklin County line, but the medical examiner in the case testified during the preliminary hearing that Lana was killed in the same bedroom as her mother at about the same time.

Flack faces one count of first degree murder in the death of Steven White, who investigators say was killed first — sometime between April 20 and April 28, 2013. White’s body was discovered in a detached garage on the property. The defendant also faces one count of first degree murder in the death of Andrew Stout. Stout’s body was found in the same bedroom where the shootings of Kaylie Bailey and Lana Bailey took place.

A medical examiner testified during the preliminary hearing that all four victims died as the result of shotgun wounds.

Flack also faces one felony count of criminal possession of a firearm and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

Also at Friday’s hearing, James Ward, assistant Franklin County attorney, said the prosecution had filed a notice with the court that it would be issuing four subpoenas to collect cell phone records. The subjects of those subpoenas were not disclosed.

It was not clear if the statements prosecutors would like to admit as evidence were related to comments Flack previously made to investigators about shooting one of the victims. Those comments came to light during Flack’s March 11-12 preliminary hearing.

During the preliminary hearing, Det. Jeremi Thompson, with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said he was conducting an interview with Flack May 8, 2013, at the Ottawa Police Department when Flack told him that Andrew Stout and Steven White had been feuding because White had not been paying rent to stay at Stout’s farm. After White left Stout’s residence on that day in late April, Stout grabbed a shotgun and followed White out of the home to the detached garage, Thompson testified that Flack told him. Thompson said Flack then told him that Stout shot White in the chest and that White fell to the ground. Stout handed the shotgun to Flack, Thompson testified. Thompson said Flack told him that White was still alive so he fired a shot and killed him.

“Mr. Flack said, ‘I shot him, he dies,’” Thompson told Vic Braden, Kansas deputy attorney general who is a member of the prosecution team in the case.

Thompson testified that the interview had lasted about four hours, starting at about 11:30 p.m. May 8, 2013, and ending around 3:30 a.m. when Flack requested a lawyer and the interview stopped. Before the interview concluded, Thompson said Flack told him that he and Stout covered White’s body with a tarp in the garage and placed cinder blocks on top of the tarp.

Ronald Evans, a Topeka-based court-appointed lawyer who is one of Flack’s defense attorneys, challenged the validity of Flack’s interview.

“Isn’t it correct that 23 minutes into the interview [which was before Flack described White’s death], Mr. Flack said, ‘Don’t you think I ought to get a lawyer?’” Evans asked Thompson.

“Yes, something to that effect,” Thompson told Evans.

Evans, chief attorney for the Topeka-based Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit, which represents defendants accused of capital murder crimes, argued that Flack’s statement was in fact a request for an attorney.

Thompson said he took it as Flack asking him for advice, and Thompson said he doesn’t provide legal advice.

Flack remains in the Franklin County Adult Detention Center on $10 million bond.

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