Defense seeks testimony of DNA expert
Defense attorneys for Adam Longoria have asked the court to name Barbra Leal from the Dallas-based DNA laboratory Orchid Cellmark as a material witness in the case.
A motion filed Dec. 15 in Barton County District Court notes Leal did the testing of the oral swab from Alicia DeBolt’s mouth. "This test resulted in Adam Longoria being excluded as a contributor of the DNA in Alicia DeBolt’s mouth."
The defense also asks the court to authorize the funds for Leal’s return to Kansas, with payment coming from the general fund of Barton County.
Earlier this month, the defense filed a supplement to its "Motion for Compensation of Jurors at Current Wages and for Reimbursement to Primary Caregivers for Day Care Costs." This motion also seeks money from the county’s general fund, in order to ensure poor people are not excluded from the jury pool.
The supplement cites the U.S. Census Bureau - State and County Quick Facts, which shows that in 2009 the median household income in Barton County was $42,558, and that 14 percent of the population was below the poverty level. Barton County population in 2010 was 27,674, with 24.5 percent of the population under 18 years of age. There were 11,585 households.
"Extrapolation of the median household income shows that in 2009 Barton County households had a mean hourly wage of $22.17 per hour."
The State has already filed a response that notes compensation for jurors is set by state law.
The end of 2011 saw attorneys on both sides of the capital murder case of Adam Joseph Longoria preparing for next year’s jury trial, sometimes using colorful language from the Bible and Star Trek as they sparred in pretrial motions.
As of Thursday afternoon, the website posting those documents show six new motions were filed in December: two by the prosecution, two by the defense and a Notice of Hearing by Barton County District Judge Hannelore Kitts, who has scheduled a pretrial hearing for Feb. 8, 2012.
A third motion filed by the defense lists the issues that will be dealt with at the pretrial hearing.
Longoria’s trial is scheduled to being at 9 a.m. on March 26, 2012. He is charged with capital murder, as prosecutors allege that he committed the premeditated murder of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt on or about Aug. 21, 2010, after attempting to rape her. He is also charged with indecent solicitation of a child, and with the burglary and theft of a vehicle. Although the State is seeking a capital murder conviction, which carries a life sentence, it is not seeking the death penalty in this case.
Prosecutors have responded to the defense’s motion from last September to have the case dismissed.
That motion accused the State of attempting to try Longoria’s case in the "court of public opinion." One statement written by the Tim Frieden and Jeffrey Wicks of the Death Penalty Defense Unit reads:
"On June 30, 2011, the State, unable to try its case in the court of public opinion through the media, filed a stack of pretrial motions which contained information never before made public, conjecture and speculation on the part of the State, and/or material irrelevant and immaterial to the nature of the motion in which it was filed. This tactic can be seen only as what it truly was, an end run around the court’s order prohibiting extrajudicial statements." Noting the Great Bend Tribune and other media reported on those motions, the defense concludes, "At this point any attempts to have the pleading sealed or otherwise dealt with would have been akin to letting the horses out after the barn had not only caught on fire but had in fact burnt to the ground. ...
"The most heinous, atrocious, and cruel attack upon the Constitutional principal of a fair trial has to be the June 30, 2011, filing of the State’s "Motion to Introduce Evidence of the Defendant’s Relationship with Alicia DeBolt. ... The motion is in reality nothing more than a desire to turn up the heat on the pressure cooker of Great Bend, Kan., to insure that prospective jurors know clearly the State’s theory of the case and to inflame their passion. ...
"The State filed a ‘detailed’ motion publicly which contained not only information on the case, but also the state’s analysis and take on the case. Using phrases such as ‘start of a fixation’ and ‘braggart,’ the State went far beyond anything necessary for a legal determination of admissibility and signposted the media the way that various events, arguments and theories should be covered so as to insure the right terminology would be in the mind of prospective jurors. Reading the State’s motion one would have to think it was written by Kreskin or a Betazoid based upon the way the writer seems to ‘know’ what Mr. Longoria was thinking and feeling every minute of every day. These same comments and innuendo in trial, before a jury, would be objectionable and reversible without question, yet the State feels free to use them before the jury pool."
The defense motion also accused the State of "snark and hyperbole" in its July 22, 2011, "Motion to Sever Defendant’s Privileges," when it quoted a verse from Proverbs. The response included four more Bible verses, including "Judge not, that ye be not judge." - Matthew 7:1 (King James Version).
On Dec. 16, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bauch fired back with his own sometimes pithy response. It reviewed information in the State’s previous motions, such as a motion to include a photo of Alicia DeBolt’s body as evidence. "The State’s motion included the pertinent facts and law so that this Court understood why the State sought the introduction of the evidence. Defendant has failed to demonstrate how this motion prejudiced his rights." ...
Similarly, Bauch wrote, "Defendant alleges the State committed misconduct by setting forth facts in the motion (to allow evidence seized from the defendant’s mail) for the sole purpose of tainting a jury pool. A review of (our motion) shows the factual basis for the warrant, the time line for the execution of the warrant, and a list of the items placed into the box — two cowboy hats, cowboy boots and some shirts. ... It is unclear how information about cowboy hats, boots and shirts taints a jury. Perhaps there is a deep seeded hatred for cowboys in Barton County, Kan., but until the defendant is able to demonstrate that fact, the argument fails."
Bauch cites Wikipedia to define Kreskin as "a mentalist that become popular on North American television in the 1970s" and a Betazoid as "a sentient humanoid species from the planet Betazoid, a member of the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe." Later in the response Bauch writes, "While defendant takes exception with the use of scripture, it presents no authority showing courts have found such advocacy to be misconduct."
Quips aside, Bauch writes that, "The State filed these motions in good faith, as the facts contained therein are supported by the evidence. ...
"As the end of the day, the State can bring issue to the Court’s attention through proffered evidence in a motion or through witness testimony. The end result is the same; the information is before the Court to rule upon, and inevitably public.
"If the defendant believes the jury pool has been tainted, a motion to dismiss is not the appropriate remedy. Rather, defendant should have moved for a change of venue pursuant to K.S.A. 22-2616, and brought evidence before this court, not mere speculation."