Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Judge OKs DNA testing in Ottawa quadruple killing; defense objects

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 8/30/2013

Prosecutors were granted the request of consumptive DNA testing of items used as evidence in a quadruple homicide case last spring west of Ottawa.

Franklin County District Judge Thomas H. Sachse said Thursday morning the court would allow the prosecution to consume an item of evidence for DNA testing if consuming the whole item would yield the best results for a DNA profile. The trial is for Kyle T. Flack, 28, Ottawa, who has been charged in connection with the murder of three adults and an 18-month-old girl in early May.

Prosecutors were granted the request of consumptive DNA testing of items used as evidence in a quadruple homicide case last spring west of Ottawa.

Franklin County District Judge Thomas H. Sachse said Thursday morning the court would allow the prosecution to consume an item of evidence for DNA testing if consuming the whole item would yield the best results for a DNA profile. The trial is for Kyle T. Flack, 28, Ottawa, who has been charged in connection with the murder of three adults and an 18-month-old girl in early May.

The prosecution team, led by Victor J. Braden, deputy attorney general for the state of Kansas, requested the DNA testing during a July 8 hearing. Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, was requesting clarification to the DNA testing Thursday morning.

“The state has a question as specifically to point No. 3 in the court’s order [to allow DNA testing],” Hunting said Thursday at the status hearing. “Which is the state obtain a valid DNA profile without consuming all of the samples [of evidence]. It’s hereby required to preserve the rest of the samples so the defendant may test if he wishes to do so.”

Hunting said in some cases it might be difficult for the DNA analyst to know if an item will be completely consumed by testing until the analyst starts testing the item.

“There may be instances where the DNA analysts could do testing and it would not consume the entire sample,” Hunting said. “However, it wouldn’t yield the most complete profile or the fullest profile.”

Ronald Evans, Flack’s court-appointed attorney, said he objected to any DNA testing that would consume an item, leaving the defense unable to do testing of its own.

Judge Sachse said he would allow the state to do consumptive DNA testing if it was the only option to yield the fullest profile, and would review the results of the test and decide if the prosecution acted in good judgment when consuming an item for testing.

The first pretrial hearing was moved from Feb. 24, 2014, to 9 a.m. March 11, 2014, because of scheduling conflicts.

Flack has been charged with two counts of capital murder, four counts of first-degree murder, rape and criminal possession of a firearm in the deaths of Steven White, 31, Andrew Stout, 30, Kaylie Bailey, 21, and 18-month-old Lana Leigh Bailey. The three adult bodies were found May 6 and May 7 at a residence at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa. The infant’s body was discovered about dusk May 11 in Osage County by an Osage County Sheriff’s deputy. Authorities have not released details about their deaths, but have said a gun was used in the commission of the crimes.

Flack remains in Franklin County Jail, 305 S. Main St., Ottawa, on $10 million bond. His next scheduled court appearance is a status conference Oct. 17.

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