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Texts, alibis, DNA topics of testimony

POSTED April 3, 2012 10:33 p.m.
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DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune/

Kansas Bureau of Investigation forensic chemist...

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Adam Longoria started flirting with Alicia DeBolt the first time he met her on July 7, 2010, according to the testimony of Rolando Molina, who recalled that meeting.
It was at Longoria’s house, and he was throwing a birthday party for his girlfriend, Eva Brown.
Molina was only 17 years old at the time, and DeBolt was 14. They sat with Longoria and talked, Molina said Tuesday in Barton County District Court, as Longoria’s capital murder trial continued.
“He asked her if she had a boyfriend and she said yes,” Molina said. But Longoria said he’d like to take her out, buy her a fake ID and clothes.
“How did that make you feel?” Assistant Attorney General Kevin O’Connor asked.
“Weird,” Molina said. “Because he was pretty old and she was young.” He also testified that DeBolt gave Longoria her cellphone number before she left the party.
Alicia DeBolt disappeared the night of Aug. 21, 2010, and her charred remains were found three days later at an asphalt plant near Dundee. Longoria is on trial for allegedly murdering her after an attempted sexual assault.
Molina was at a friend’s wedding party near Heizer Park the night of Aug. 21, 2010, along with Ivan Ramirez, Emmanuel Ferrel and Erick Herrera, he said. He stayed until 1 a.m., although Ramirez and Ferrel left sometime earlier, perhaps 10 or 11 p.m.
Molina said he’d seen Alicia DeBolt a week earlier. “She was freaking out because Adam Longoria kept texting her,” Molina said. “I told her to ignore the text messages.”
Ferrel was at a wedding party the night of Aug. 21, then went to Willy J’s “around 9:30 or so” and stayed there until around 1:30 a.m. He named the friends he was with, and who were still there when he left.
After DeBolt disappeared, Ferrel said Longoria contacted him. “He became paranoid, trying to get me to give an alibi, saying he was with me at Willy J’s.”
“What did he want?” O’Connor asked.
“To lie for him, tell the police,” Ferrel said. “He was texting me like crazy.”
Sloan Folk testified that she was a clerk at Great Bend Ampride in August of 2010. On Aug. 23, the day before DeBolt’s body was found, a man came in and got a soft drink, then started to leave without paying. They had an odd conversation, which she recalled and told police about after she saw him on the TV news. It was Adam Longoria.
Folk said he told her he wasn’t trying to steal the soda, that “his mind was in other places.”
What was on his mind, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bauch asked? “The missing girl,” Folk said. In their brief conversation, Longoria told her other people had used his phone to send text messages to the girl before she went missing. He also said he’d been at Willy J’s that night with his wife.
“Did he tell you an Ivan Ramirez was involved?”
“Yes,” Folk said. Longoria told her Alicia had sent him a text asking him to pick her up, but he didn’t get the message because friends of Alicia had taken his phone.
There was also testimony from Dr. Scott Kipper, deputy coroner and medical examiner in Sedgwick County, who performed the autopsy on DeBolt. Dental records confirmed the body was hers.
Fire had destroyed much of the evidence. “On the face she had what looked to be the remains of duct tape,” Kipper said. The tape was also on one leg. Some beads or jewelry were clutched in one hand.
The only areas not burned were on her backside, where the ground protected the body from fire, he said. The burn patterns indicated she was deceased before her body was set on fire; the cause of death is “undetermined homicidal violence.”
Defense attorney Jeff Wicks asked, “You can’t tell us exactly how she died?” Kipper said he could not; nor could he say who killed Alicia DeBolt.

DNA evidence
At lease one the stains found on the floor mat of the 2002 Ford Escape driven by Longoria contained his semen and what is possibly the saliva of DeBolt, said a Kansas Bureau of Investigation forensic scientist testifying Tuesday afternoon.
James Newman told the jury that one of the samples of mixed DNA he found on the floor of the driver’s seat was large enough to get a positive match to Longoria’s seminal fluid. The other contributor to the sample was definitely DeBolt, but the test for saliva is lest conclusive, so saliva could not be confirmed as the source.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, “is the basic building block of life,” Newman said. No two humans, except identical twins, will have the same DNA profile.
Newman said forensic scientists test for 16 areas and if they can match two samples on all 16 points, they are considered to come from the same individual. Comparing a blood sample from Longoria and an oral swab taken from DeBolt’s body to the stain in the Escape, a match was made.
In a second, smaller mixed stain, Longoria’s DNA was present, but the second contributor could not be determined.
One of the swabs, which contained DeBolt’s DNA swiped from the inside of the deceased girl’s cheek, held DNA from an unknown male. The source of this remains undetermined, but possible contamination of the testing equipment was not ruled out as a cause.
The 16 DNA points compared are but a small percentage of a person’s total DNA, Newman said. Statistically, he said the chance of any two individuals matching even the 16 are anywhere from the hundreds of thousands to the quintillions.
Court adjourned Tuesday after the prosecution finished its direct examination.
Cross examination by the defense will begin This morning.
Also from the KBI, forensic chemist Chris Riddle said he examined soil samples taken from under where DeBolt’s burned body was found at the Venture asphalt plant, and clothing samples and shoes taken from her body. He found traces of gasoline in all of them. He also found gas in an Auto Zone oil jug found near the crime scene.
However, under cross examination, he said he could not say what brand of gasoline it was, where it came from, how long it had been there or who put it there.
In other afternoon testimony, Erick Herrera said he and his friends had been to a wedding dance and out partying the night of Aug. 21, 2010, when DeBolt was killed. Since Longoria knew him, he asked Herrera on Sunday to say he was at the bar Willy J’s with Herrera. “He asked us to lie for him.”
But, later, he when asked by Longoria what he told the Great Bend Police, he said he told them the truth. Herrera said Longoria didn’t seem to care.
Kawailailehua Martinez said she was with her mother when Longoria told her “they” were trying to pin DeBolt’s disappearance on him. This was early Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. He also said he was not at Willy J’s.
The court also learned Longoria came to their house on Friday, Aug. 27, 1010, in a white Venture Corporation truck and borrowed the family car to run some errands. He returned, said he was going to Oklahoma and left in the truck.
Later that day, however, he said he was at the bar and that he knew who was responsible for DeBolt disappearing.
Crystal Easley, a window clerk at the Great Bend Post Office, said Longoria came in on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, and said he had a rodeo to go to and wanted to send some stuff to Texas, including cowboy hats, boots, shirts and other unidentified items. But, “he seemed scattered brained, nervous.”
He made trips to his car to get items he forgot, and left without his cell phone and keys.
When she went back to mail the box, she heard her coworkers talking about the Longoria case and the address where a search warrant had been served. She recognized it as the return address on the package and called authorities.

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