Pretrial hearings for several pending cases were heard by District Judge Carey Hipp last Friday in Barton County District Court. The trial for Austin Levingston was postponed and preparations were made for Steven Terry Jordan’s re-trial.
The jury trial for Austin James Levingston that was scheduled to begin in May has been put on hold. Levingston is charged with three counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child and two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior.
A motion filed by defense attorney Donald E. Anderson II explained the need for a later trial date, saying “there is a pending need for a competency evaluation.” The defense motion added that several pretrial motions need to be filed that may require expert witnesses to be procured and that Assistant County Attorney Douglas Matthews was notified and did not object.
The delay was granted with a new trial date to be set later.
The pretrial conference for Steven Terry Jordan, who is scheduled for a new trial on his 2015 rape conviction, included a checklist of things to be done before the trial. The state was represented by special prosecutor Douglas McNett and Jordan was represented by Shannon S. Crane.
The state represents it has disclosed all evidence in its possession. Crane reported the nature of the defense will be “general denial” of the charge and that Jordan may or may not testify. A motions hearing in the case is set for 1 p.m. on April 11.
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 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 testified that the woman allowed him in the house and agreed to have sex for meth and money, although he didn’t pay her. A new trial was granted when the Court of Appeals ruled District Judge Ron Svaty erred in limiting cross-examination by the defense that was intended to support its case by showing the woman was a drug user.