Adam Longoria is scheduled to appear in Barton County District Court on Wednesday morning for a pretrial hearing on pending motions. Longoria is charged with capital murder in the death of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt on or about Aug. 20, 2010. His jury trial is scheduled to start March 26.
Wednesday’s proceedings will start at 9 a.m. at the courthouse.
Last December, attorneys Tim Frieden and Jeffrey Wicks from the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit filed a court document listing 18 motions that need to be taken up by the court. Since then, the defense has also filed a motion requesting the judge to order a change of venue, saying pretrial publicity has prejudiced the jury and Longoria could not receive a fair trial here.
Special Assistant Attorney General Kevin O’Connor wrote a response for the state, saying the argument that pretrial publicity surrounding this case has negated Longoria’s ability to obtain a fair trial in Barton County is "without merit."
Prosecutors filed 12 responses to defense motions on Monday and Tuesday of this week, generally asking the court to deny them. In some cases, the state argues that the defense requests are "superfluous."
In response to the defense’s "Motion to Enjoin the Victim’s Family from Sitting Directly Before the Jury and Showing Emotion in the Courtroom During the Trial, O’Connor wrote, "The state is quite confident in the Court’s ability to maintain order in her courtroom."
Frieden and Wicks ask the court to ensure that "shows of emotionalism" do not occur at the trial. "Even in the non-capital case, appeals to passion and prejudice and other inflammatory appeals to the jury are totally impermissible."
The Death Penalty Defense Unit was assigned to represent Longoria after he was charged with capital murder. The state later amended its charges, resulting in a new preliminary hearing. The charge is still capital murder, but the state is not seeking the death penalty if Longoria is convicted. The sentence for capital murder is life in prison with no parole.