The preliminary hearing for the man arrested after the death of a 15-year-old runaway did not happen on Thursday as scheduled.
Joseph Jeffery Rykiel, 30, is charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child, criminal sodomy with a child 14-16 years old, and aggravated endangering of a child through a reckless situation. He was arrested after Jessica Cheyanne Shearer died on July 4 at a Great Bend residence.
Rykiel’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. in Barton County District Court, but it was canceled Wednesday evening, according to District Court staff. A new date for the hearing has not been set.
His preliminary hearing was first scheduled for Aug. 28, but was delayed after the county attorney’s office reported lab reports or other documents weren’t ready.
Since then, a records custodian at Facebook in Palo Alto, Calif., has been added to the subpoena list, to testify on Shearer’s postings on the social network site.
Defense attorney Robert Anderson has filed motions for discovery, including a request for a copy of the alleged conversation between the defendant and Michael Gillum, a fellow inmate at the Barton County Jail, on July 5. The motion states the conversation was recorded and was "monitored by Barton County Detention Facility guards from the control tower when all other inmates in their pod were allegedly sleeping."
The defense has also requested Shearer's medical history and records of her stay at the girls’ home in Great Bend.
Shearer, who had been living in Garden City before coming to Great Bend, reportedly left the girls’ home on July 1. On July 4, an ambulance was dispatched to 2509 Walnut Drive around 5:10 p.m., to assist a female with respiratory problems. Rykiel also called the police, but when they arrived the girl had "passed away of unknown causes," according to a statement by Lt. Bill Browne of the Great Bend Police Department.
According to the residents of 2509 Walnut Drive, Mary Coker and her fiance Jackie McHolland, Rykiel had been renting their basement and living there. Shearer’s body was also found in the basement.