Attorney General Steve Six’s office agreed Friday that one of capital murder suspect Adam Longoria’s phone calls to his attorney’s office may have been recorded at the jail. But in response to motion to dismiss the case, Six said there’s been no evidence that Longoria’s constitutional right to attorney-client privilege was violated.
The defendant has not shown that a confidential communication was violated, Six said, emphasizing the word confidential. In this case, it appears jailers recorded a phone call where Longoria asked his attorney to return to the jail to meet with him.
Longoria is charged with murdering and sodomizing 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt on Aug. 21 or 22. Attorneys Jeff Wicks and Tim Frieden from the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit have been appointed to defend him. After Longoria made a call to the defense unit in Wichita, the defense became concerned that the call was recorded by the telephone system of the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and monitored by jail staff.
The State’s motion responds, "even though all telephone calls from the Barton County Jail are routinely recorded, steps were put into place to allow the defendant to make unrecorded phone calls to his attorney.
"The State does not dispute that one conversation between the defendant and a staff member of his attorney’s office was recorded by the telephone system of the Barton County Sheriff’s Department," the motion continues. The content of the call was not revealed in the defense’s motion to dismiss, but the State’s motion concludes, "it appears ... that the substance of the phone call was that the defendant made a request that Mr. Wicks return to the jail to meet with the defendant."
If there was an intrusion into the attorney-client privilege it was simply a mistake, Six’s motion continues, and does not merit throwing out the case. Steps were taken to assure privileged conversations won’t be recorded in the future, and Longoria has been moved to the Sedgwick County Jail.
All motions from the prosecution and the defense will addressed at an Oct. 21 hearing before Judge Hannelore Kitts in Barton County District Court. The defense has also filed motions to keep cameras out of the courtroom, and for Longoria to be allowed to wear street clothes and be unrestrained at all court appearances.
Two additional motions filed by the defense ask the court to "preclude creation of snitch testimony" and to reveal any deals with witnesses made by the state.
In his response, Six wrote, "if law enforcement place an informant in the jail cell or otherwise arrange for an informant to talk with the defendant, then that evidence cannot be used. However, if the defendant voluntarily speaks with someone, then that evidence can be used.
"The State has no intention of trying to obtain information from the defendant through an informant. If this should occur then the defendant can seek relief at that time."