Documents filed by prosecutors in the Adam Longoria case say that scientific evidence was considered in their decision not to seek the death penalty if the defendant is convicted of capital murder. He was bound over for trial on Thursday after a second preliminary hearing, for the Aug. 21, 2010, death of Great Bend teenager Alicia DeBolt.
The notice that the State of Kansas would seek the death penalty was originally filed in November 2010, around the time of Longoria’s first preliminary hearing. Aggravating circumstances in addition to the crime of murder must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a defendant to be sentenced to death, Assistant Attorney General Victor Braden notes in the motion to withdraw that notice.
"The additional information obtained over the past 11 months has allowed the State to assess its ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the aggravating circumstances listed in the notice," the motion states. "At the time of the notice filing, a key reason for listing the aggravating circumstances was the possibility that Alicia was burned alive." Prosecutors said the evidence now indicates that was not the case. They allege that Longoria killed DeBolt at the Venture asphalt plant near Dundee, left her body there, drove back to Great Bend, bought gas, returned to the crime scene and burned her corpse.