Attorneys for Adam Joseph Longoria have filed a motion seeking to have the Kansas death penalty declared unconstitutional. Longoria, 36, is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge for allegedly killing 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt of Great Bend last year.
The motion filed earlier this month in Barton County District Court acknowledges that the constitutionality of the Kansas death penalty has already been upheld by the Kansas Supreme Court, but defense attorneys said they raise the issue to preserve the matter for future appeals, including in Federal courts.
The Kansas criteria for determining whether a death sentence should be imposed is contingent on a jury finding a suspect guilty of at least one aggravating crime. In this case, Longoria is also charged with criminal sodomy. The motion filed by defense council claims that the law is indistinguishable from an "Arizona sentencing statutory scheme" that was struck down as unconstitutional.
Another recent document filed in the Longoria case, this time by the prosecution, notes a change in personnel at the Kansas Attorney General’s office. Barry K. Disney, who previously entered his appearance in the case, is no longer with the state office. Victor J. Braden is now the counsel of record in this matter.
All motions filed in this case can be found on the Internet at www.kscourt.org/State-v-longoria/default.asp.
Longoria’s next motions hearing is scheduled to take place in March. A trial date has not been set.
DeBolt, who was going to be a freshman at Great Bend High School, was last seen alive at about 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, leaving for a party. Her body was later found in a rural area.