Editor’s Note: A three-day jury trial was conducted last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Barton County District Court. A report on the outcome of that trial, including the verdict, was published in the Dec. 12 Great Bend Tribune. This information about that trial was provided by Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett, who represented the State.
A three-day jury trial was conducted Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the Barton County District Court regarding a felony criminal complaint against Steven “Dewey” Jordan, 50 of Great Bend. Jordan was found guilty of all charges: rape, aggravated burglary and misdemeanor criminal damage to property.
Jordan was previously convicted of the charges following a five-day jury trial in September of 2015. The defendant appealed the conviction. On review, the Kansas Court of Appeals found in an unpublished opinion on January 12, 2018, the district court violated the defendant’s constitutional right to present his theory of defense by excluding relevant evidence, reversed his convictions, vacated his sentences, and remanded the matter for a new trial. The Kansas Supreme Court declined to review the reversal.
As a result of a legal conflict of recently appointed Barton County Attorney Levi Morris, the District Court appointed Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett as special prosecutor to present the State’s case at re-trial. Jordan was represented by Shannon Crane of Hutchinson.
The jury heard testimony that around 1:35 a.m. on February 6, 2013, Barton 911 Dispatch received a cellular telephone call that immediately disconnected. Dispatch tried to call back, but no one answered. An officer was dispatched to the last known address on file associated with the number, but it was determined the call had not originated from that location. At approximately 1:58 a.m., a second 911 call was received from the same cellular number wherein a woman told dispatch that an unknown black male had just broken into her home in the 1100 block of Morphy Street in Great Bend and sexually assaulted her.
The Great Bend Police Department responded to the scene. The woman had locked herself in her vehicle following the attack. She was later transported to the Great Bend Regional Hospital for an exam.
At trial, the woman told the jury that she lived alone and that not long after she had gone to bed she heard footsteps on her porch. She turned her bedroom light on, heard what sounded like someone throwing their body against the front door and then the front door broke open. She also testified she attempted to call 911, but the call was disconnected as she was confronted by an unknown man wielding a knife. He then made her lay down on her bed and proceeded to sexually assault her. After the assault, he made her cover her head with a blanket. She further told the jury she remained covered up until she no longer heard anyone in her home at which time she ran outside and locked herself in her vehicle.
The victim further testified that as she was moving out of the house the next morning her neighbor from across the street told her the description of the man who attacked her matched someone named “Dewey” that lived just a block down the street. The police later confirmed “Dewey” was the nickname of Steven Jordan who resided at the time in the 1200 block of Morphy. The victim later identified Jordan in a photo lineup as her attacker. The KBI testified at trial that seminal fluid recovered as part of the sexual assault exam of the victim matched the DNA profile of the defendant.
The defendant testified at trial on his own behalf and advised the jury that he had been smoking methamphetamine most of the day in question. He told the jury that he had seen the woman, who was the girlfriend of one of his family friends, on her porch smoking a cigarette that night and went to the home to see if his friend was there. Jordan further testified that once at the home he inquired whether the woman was interested in smoking dope with him. After they had consumed some drugs, he offered to pay her for sex with some additional drugs and money.
He further testified she agreed to have sex with him, but he only engaged in intercourse for about five minutes because he felt guilty for being with his friend’s girlfriend. He then said he immediately left without paying the woman, but returned a short time later to retrieve his wallet at which time he may have accidentally broken the door jam on the front door.
The jury made up of four women and eight men deliberated for approximately 2 hours before returning around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday with guilty verdicts for all three charges. Following the reading of the verdict, presiding Judge Carey Hipp remanded the defendant to the custody of the Barton County Sheriff.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 24, 2020, at 1 p.m. Depending on his criminal history, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of 653 months (54 years and five months) in the custody of the Department of Corrections, which was the sentence he received after his first trial.