Two former area law enforcement officers faced charges in Barton County District Court this year. One case has been resolved, and another is pending.
The trial for Darrin D. Hirsh, a former Kansas Highway Patrol trooper who allegedly threatening his wife with a handgun in 2013, has been set for June 2-5, 2015. He was charged in June of this year with aggravated assault, criminal threat, domestic battery, and witness intimidation. He was arrested again in July for violating a protective order.
Hirsh appeared in Barton County District Court last week and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He then entered a plea of not guilty.
Agreeing to a motion filed by Hirsh, District Judge Ron Svaty modified two of the conditions of his bond that were ordered by the court last July. He will be allowed to send texts to an individual for the purposes of parenting and child care, and a nightly curfew previously imposed has been removed. The judge denied his request to remove a court-ordered GPS monitoring device.
He remains free on bond. Pretrial hearings have been set for May 4 and June 1.
Holliday pleads “no contest”
Former Barton County Sheriff Larry Holliday Jr. entered a plea of “no contest” in November to driving under the influence of alcohol back on March 1. The complaint was filed by Karen C. Wittman, assistant attorney general.
Holliday was appointed undersheriff by Sheriff Gregg Armstrong and left the BCSO when Brian Bellendir was sworn in as sheriff in 2013. He was originally booked into the Barton County Jail on charges of aggravated battery and failure to maintain laned roadway, after a rollover accident in which he was driving and a passenger was injured.
Wittman eventually filed an amended complaint as a traffic case rather than a criminal case. It was Holliday’s first DUI and is a Class B misdemeanor.
He was sentenced to one year on probation and agreed to participate in a Wichita intervention program in lieu of two days in jail.
Chapman, Miller trials moved to 2015
Two week-long criminal trials for cases filed in 2012 will still be on the Barton County District Court docket in 2015. Judge Svaty has scheduled dates for both.
The first-degree murder trial for Jeffrey Wade Chapman is scheduled to begin on Feb. 2 and continue through Feb. 13. A pre-trial hearing is set for 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30.
Chapman is charged with killing 25-year-old Damon Galyardt, whose body was discovered by hunters on land southwest of Great Bend on Nov. 12, 2011. He pleaded not guilty in October 2012 and is being held at the Barton County Jail.
LaVeta D. Miller’s trial is now set for March 2. Miller has entered a plea of not guilty to two counts of theft by deception. The state alleges that about $110,000 was stolen from the Honor Flight program, intended to give World War II veterans expense-paid trips to see their national monument in Washington, D.C. The defendant is the former director of Central Prairie RC&D, once based in Great Bend. She was in charge of Central Prairie Honor Flights, which raised nearly $1.2 million for veterans’ trips between 2008 and 2012. Flights were halted in 2012, however, and that October, Miller was charged after money went missing from the group’s account. Miller remains free on bond.