Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Judge OKs more DNA testing in quadruple homicide case

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 12/20/2013

The DNA testing of undisclosed items that could be introduced as evidence in a quadruple homicide is moving forward. Franklin County District Judge Thomas H. Sachse granted prosecutors’ motion to conduct consumptive DNA testing on the items in the capital murder case against 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. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

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.

Flack was arrested by Franklin County Sheriff’s officers May 9 after being apprehended in Emporia.

The prosecution team of Victor Braden, deputy attorney general for the state of Kansas, Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, and James Ward, assistant Franklin County attorney, requested the consumptive DNA testing in a Nov. 22 motion. Details about the items have not been released, and the court has sealed the order for DNA testing.

Before Sachse issued his ruling at Friday’s status conference, Ronald Evans, Flack’s court-appointed attorney, argued that granting consumptive DNA testing — which could destroy the evidence and prevent the defense’s forensics experts from conducting additional testing — denied Flack of his rights under the state and U.S. constitutions.

“Consumptive testing denies Mr. Flack the right to inspect the evidence,” Evans, head of the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit in Topeka, said. “Mr. Flack has the right [afforded by the constitution] to confront the evidence.”

Evans said if the testing is granted he later would argue that the evidence should be inadmissible in court because Flack was denied his rights under the constitution.

Sachse took Evans objections under advisement and granted the prosecution’s motion to conduct the tests. The judge issued a similar ruling in July that allowed prosecutors to conduct consumptive DNA testing of 13 undisclosed items. Evans also objected to that motion, based on the same argument.

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 her 18-month-old daughter, Lana Bailey. 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 status conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 16 in Franklin County District Court.

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