The jury trial for Steven Terry Jordan, a former Great Bend resident charged with rape, was set to start Monday but was put on hold because a defense witness could not be found, Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett said.
McNett is prosecuting the case for the Barton County Attorney’s Office.
District Judge Carey Hipp granted the defense’s request for a continuance and scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 27. A new trial date was not scheduled, but one possibility is the second week of December, McNett said.
Jordan, who will be 50 years old in August, is charged with rape, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property. During Jordan’s jury trial in 2015, prosecutors presented evidence and witnesses to show that around 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2013, Jordan went to a residence in the 1100 block of Morphy Street in Great Bend, broke the dead-bolted wooden front door, entered and raped a 22-year-old woman.
He was convicted on all three counts by a jury in 2015 and sentenced to more than 50 years in prison
but was later granted a new trial by the Court of Appeals, which ruled he should have been allowed to present evidence of the woman’s prior drug use. Jordan’s defense was that the woman lied to police and to the jury about having consensual sex with Jordan for drugs.
A jury for a new trial was being selected last October when District Judge Scott McPherson said the proceedings had been canceled, also at Jordan’s request. Amy Mellor, who was the Barton County Attorney at the time, later said Jordan had fired his attorney.
McNett was appointed as special counsel to represent the state after Levi Morris was appointed as the Barton County Attorney last December. Morris had a potential conflict of interest in the case because he provided assistance to the defense in Jordan’s first trial.
The trial was then set for the week of May 6, 2019, but was continued when Jordan’s attorney requested a new date because a critical witness for the defense was unable to testify due to his work schedule.