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Court Roundup: Chapman attorneys get more time to prepare for murder trial
Miller theft trial to start March 24
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The trial for the man charged with murdering Damon Galyardt in 2011 has been rescheduled from January to April, giving his defense team more time to prepare for the case.
Jeffrey Wade Chapman is charged with first-degree murder. Hunters found Galyardt’s body on Nov. 12, 2011. Previously, Chapman was represented by Wichita attorneys Jeffrey Wicks and Tim Frieden of the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit. They were appointed even though the state is not seeking the death penalty if Chapman is found guilty. The jury trial scheduled for last August was rescheduled to January after the Wichita attorneys withdrew from the case and other public offenders were appointed to represent Chapman. Now the trial is scheduled for April 28 through May 9.
This is one of several felony cases in the Barton County District Court that the Great Bend Tribune continues to follow in 2014.
The jury trial for LaVeta Miller, charged with stealing more than $100,000 that was intended to provide free trips to Washington, D.C., for World War II veterans, is scheduled for March 24-28. Last October, Judge Ron Svaty ordered defense attorney Robert  Anderson and Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews to coordinate rescheduling Miller’s jury trial in February 2014 “or as soon thereafter as it can be scheduled with the court.”
Nearly a year ago, on Jan. 31, 2013, Jose Saul Torres Jr. was shot in the face at 1407 Adams St. in Great Bend. He survived, but the cases against three suspects are pending.
John Waylon Hensley Randall is charged with attempted murder and criminal use of a sawed-off shotgun – one with a barrel 18 inches long or shorter. His preliminary hearing is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9. The court will also consider a request for medical treatment.
Also charged with attempted first degree murder in that case is Robert Dale Nicholas. No hearings are scheduled in his case. John Patrick Stevenson was charged with aiding and abetting attempted murder. He has been free on an own-recognizance bond since last April and there is nothing new on his case to report.
On May 21, 2013, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office reported that a man and woman were seen fleeing from a vehicle at a rural address, leaving behind a 5-year-old child in a vehicle that also contained methamphetamine and a loaded handgun. Suspects Brandon Dannebohm and Tonya Cope were apprehended June 14 and Sept. 7, respectively.
As the cases move forward in Barton County District Court, Dannebohm has entered a plea agreement, and will testify against Cope if requested. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Dannebohm was released from the Barton County Jail on Dec. 27 on a $10,000 cash/surety bond and a $50,000 own-recognizance bond from Barton County District Court. He was originally charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and aggravated endangering of a child. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he will plead guilty or no contest to the drug charge, and the other charges will be dismissed. Under sentencing guidelines, he could spend up to three years in prison, but the state will stand mute when the defense attorney files a motion for a lesser sentence.
Cope is charged with possession of opiates and aggravated endangering of a child.
Among the preliminary hearings coming up this week, Jessie Andrew Roat, 27, of Hoisington, is charged with two counts of criminal threat, two counts of stalking and violating a protection from abuse order. The charges stem from his alleged contact with a woman in Barton County on Nov. 22 and Dec. 7, 2013. His bond was revoked on Jan. 2 for reportedly failing to comply with court conditions. New charges of stalking and violating a PFA were added. Court hearings are set for 10 a.m. Thursday.