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Longoria makes first appearance
Probe continues in DeBolt case
new deh longoria hearing main picweb
Adam Joseph Longoria awaits his first appearance in Barton County District Court Monday Morning on vehicle theft charges. He is a person of interest in the Alicia DeBolt disappearance and death, but has not been charged with anything in connection to that crime. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Adam Joseph Longoria, the 36-year-old Great Bend man and person of interest in the Alicia DeBolt disappearance and death, is a flight risk and a possible public threat, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six told Barton County District Judge Hannelore Kitts Monday morning. As such, he should be held with a large enough bond to assure he sticks around.

Kitts agreed, setting the bond at $150,000. Longoria remains in custody at the Barton County Jail.

Clad in orange-and-white-striped jail garb, Longoria made his first appearance Monday on charges he stole a white 2002 Ford Explorer belonging to Venture Corporation and fled town Friday morning. His running followed by a matter of hours a search warrant served on his residence late Thursday night, but he was apprehended hours later near Ellsworth.

"We want to set the bond high enough to assure his appearance (in court) and protect the public safety," Six said. The remarks were made before a courtroom packed with law enforcement agents, media representatives and DeBolt’s family members.

Six said Longoria was new to the community and had no ties, and had a record of escaping. "Knowing he was a person of interest in a homicide case, he then took a car and fled the community." Before that, he packaged several of his belongings and mailed them to an address in Texas.

Longoria, who was most recently released from prison in Texas in May, has an extensive criminal background, including 13 felony convictions, three of which were person felonies, Six said. In these cases alone, looking at the Kansas sentencing grid, he would likely face prison time.

However, there is also a warrant out for Longoria for allegedly calling in bomb threats to elementary schools in Marion, N.C.

In the Barton County case, he faces two counts, one of vehicle theft and one of vehicle burglary, both level 9 felonies.

But, "I was told that I could come and go as I pleased," Longoria said, referring to comments made by officers the night the warrant was served. He said he cooperated with all the agencies involved. Executing the warrant were the Great Bend Police Department, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Nonetheless, Kitts said the bond stands for now. There will be an attorney conference Sept. 7, and at that time the matter can be revisited. A date for a preliminary hearing may also be set then.

Although he said he was jobless and living with his common-law wife, Longoria said he should be able to hire his own attorney, but may have to apply for a court-appointed lawyer. This will also come up during the Sept. 7 meeting.

Following the hearing and after Longoria had been escorted back to the jail, Six addressed the media outside the courthouse. "The Alicia DeBolt case investigation contiunes," he said. "We are working on that investigation in an orderly fashion. This case is a tragedy."

However, he declined to release any more details.

Lonogira remains only a person of interest, Six said. "We haven’t closed any doors in this case," he said when asked if there were others involved.

He did say he is confident charges stemming from DeBolt’s death will be made. "This means a lot to me. This means a lot to law enforcement." Officers haven’t gotten much sleep as the probe has worn on, he said.

DeBolt was last seen alive at about 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, leaving for a party. She never came home. Her body was found last Tuesday and positively identified Wednesday night.