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District Court Roundup: Defense says murder charges will be dropped
Hirsh headed to prison; appeal sought
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Courtroom A, Barton County District Court - photo by Tribune file photo

The attorney for one of three men facing charges of first-degree murder and aggravated burglary has asked that his client be released from wearing an electronic monitoring device, now that the murder charge is to be dropped. This is one of several felony cases in Barton County District Court that the Great Bend Tribune is following.

Villegas and Suppes
Alejo Villegas, Juventino Villegas and Adam Suppes are scheduled for the conclusion of their preliminary hearings and for arraignment on July 7. They were charged with first degree murder in the death of their friend, Aron Villegas, who was shot after breaking into a Great Bend home on Nov. 15, 2015. There are other charges pending against all three defendants.
Alejo Villegas’ attorney, Richard Ney, filed a motion last Wednesday that states: “The state has conceded that the murder charge brought against the defendant is not supported by the law in Kansas and that the charge will be dismissed when the defendant is arraigned on July 7.” The defendant has worn an electronic monitoring device since January as a condition of his $125,000 bond, and he checks in with a pretrial services officer twice a week. Ney aruges that the device is no longer necessary and his client should not have to check in more than once a week, now that the most severe charge against him is aggravated burglary.
Attorney Paul Oller, who represents Suppes, has filed a motion stating the aggravated burglary charge against his client should be dismissed, based on evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. Testimony indicated Aron Villegas went to the front door of Sterling Mills’ residence and broke it down. Mills, who shot Aron Villegas, testified he never directly saw Adam Suppes in the home; he assumed he was there but only identified the Villegases as actually being in the home.

Darrin Hirsh, the former Kansas Highway Patrol trooper convicted of threatening his wife with a gun in 2013, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison, which is the standard Kansas Department of Corrections sentence for the charge of aggravated assault with no prior convictions. The sentence that was filed in court this past week gives Hirsh credit for 141 days already served in the Barton County Jail since the conclusion of his jury trial last December.
Hirsh was also found guilty of criminal threat and domestic battery. Sentences for those crimes will run concurrently so they will not add to his time in custody.
He must complete the Kansas Domestic Violence Offender Assessment and will be under post-release supervision for 18 months. Because his crime involved a deadly weapon, he will be required to register as a violent offender for 15 years.
Hirsh has appealed his conviction and his sentence.

Perez and Sander
Sydney Anne Perez, 20, Topeka, and Kirk Andre Sander, 57, Great Bend, are scheduled for arraignment at 1 p.m. on June 24.
They were arrested after Christopher Michael Hughes, 44, was shot last December.
According to the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, “two subjects” came to the Barton County Jail around 10:35 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2015, to report a battery. About the same time Great Bend Regional Hospital reported a patient with a gunshot wound. The investigation indicated both incidents were the result of an altercation at 563 NW 20 Ave. involving a dispute over property. BSCO reported: “The situation became a physical altercation at which point multiple shots were fired by a suspect.”
Perez was booked for attempted murder and aggravated battery, while Sander was arrested the next morning on a charge of aggravated assault. However, the formal charges filed against Perez were less serious. Both are charged with aggravated battery and aid & abet aggravated battery, which are level 4 person felonies, as well as criminal trespass, a misdemeanor.

Steven Terry “Dewey” Jordan, 46, who was found guilty of rape, aggravated burglary and criminal damage to property back in September of 2015, is still in the Barton County Jail awaiting sentencing.
The crimes occurred in 2013. At the conclusion of Jordan’s jury trial last September, District Judge Ron Svaty set sentencing for Nov. 13 and revoked his bond. However, there is a disagreement on the scoring of his criminal history, which will affect the length of his sentence.

Thomas, Baker
Freddie Alec Thomas, who is charged with first degree murder, is scheduled for a jury trial starting June 20. Thomas has claimed self defense in the Sept. 11, 2015, shooting death of Jeremy Alan Saldana outside a Great Bend home.
William Howard Baker, 60, is scheduled for a jury trial starting Aug. 15. He is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a traffic accident that occurred on Aug. 16, 2014. Baker was driving a pickup with a trailer that came unhitched and struck an oncoming motorcycle on 10th Street in Great Bend. That accident claimed the lives of Reno County couple Shawn and Danielle Schellenger.
There is also a civil suit pending against Baker.