Jury selection for the Adam Longoria capital murder trial will start at 9 a.m. Monday and is expected to take two to four days, according to Ron Keefover, the Judicial Administration’s education-information officer.
The trial for the man suspected of murdering 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt after attempting to sexually assault her the night of Aug. 21, 2010, is expected to last up to two weeks. DeBolt’s charred remains were found on Aug. 24, 2010, one day after she was to have started her freshman year at Great Bend High School.
This week Keefover sent instructions via e-mail to members of the media, reminding everyone that photos of jurors and prospective jurors is not allowed. Prospective jurors are selected after a competency evaluation known as voir dire, where questions are asked to determine if they will be unbiased. Barton County District Judge Hannelore Kitts has asked that reporters who attend voir dire "not identify prospective jurors and the resulting panel by name or any other manner, for security and fair trial purposes," Keefover said.
He added that Judge Kitts is also restricting media coverage outside the courthouse to the sidewalk that runs parallel to the courthouse and beyond. In other words, media can’t conduct interviews or take photos on the lawn or near the entrance of the courthouse.
Photographers and video cameras have been allowed in the courtroom since the proceedings on this case began, and will continue to be allowed on Monday. Under Supreme Court Rule 1001, photographers are permitted on a pooling basis, which means other outlets are allowed to use their work, Keefover noted. "Due to the proximity of still cameras, quieting devices are required, and photographers are requested to take the absolute minimum of photographs needed to accomplish their purpose."
The latest motion filed on the case is the state’s response to the defense’s request for juvenile records of all witnesses the state intends to call. A document filed earlier listed 119 potential state witnesses, including members of law enforcement and other professions. According to the motion filed March 8 by Assistant Attorney General Andrew D. Bauch, he has spoken with defense council, who clarified their position. "(They) now seek juvenile records of a select number of the State’s potential witnesses."
This information was obtained through the National Crime Information Center III database, but after speaking to local and state law enforcement agents, Bauch wrote, "Some law enforcement agents indicated they are aware of a juvenile adjudication which did not appear on a NCIC III printout. Based on these conversations, it appears that juvenile adjudications may or may not be contained in the NCIC III database the State can directly access."
The motion asks for the defense to provide a specific list of witnesses for whom juvenile records are wanted, so the state can make a good faith effort to obtain the information. It notes the State will ask the Barton County Attorney and Kansas Bureau of Investigation if they possess the requested information.