Adam Longoria will return to Barton County next Thursday, when District Judge Hannelore Kitts will rule on pre-trial motions in his capital murder case. Longoria is suspected of killing 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt of Great Bend.
Longoria, 36, is in the Sedgwick County Detention Facility, where he can be closer to his Wichita attorneys, Jeffrey Wicks and Tim Frieden at the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit. An order issued this week by Judge Kitts calls for officers to transport Longoria to the Barton County Courthouse in time for the hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. He’ll be returned to Sedgwick County at the conclusion of the hearing.
Judge Kitts has already ruled on some motions filed by Longoria’s attorneys and by Attorney General Steve Six. For example, Longoria will be allowed to wear civilian clothing with no shackles or other visible restraints whenever he appears in public.
The judge has also issued an order on courtroom security, ruling everyone entering the courtroom must first be searched for weapons.
The judge has not yet ruled on a request for a standing order allow both the prosecution and defense to file motions under seal, or closed to the public. The defense’s request states some motions should be sealed "to protect the identity of witnesses and to ensure a fair trial." Although attorneys already have the option to request a seal on a particular item, this motion would give the attorneys the right to seal files without a judge’s order, a step the defense says "will speed the filing and communication of issues between the parties."
Earlier this month, Longoria’s case became the first capital murder case in Kansas with a website making all the court filings available online, according to Ron Keefover, chief information officer with the Office of Judicial Administration. The motions and orders can be found at www.kscourts.org/State-v-longoria/default.asp.
Kitts has also been asked to rule on Longoria’s marital status. The state wishes to call the woman he lived with in Great Bend as a witness, but the defense wants her recognized as his common-law wife. The defense has also filed formal notice that Longoria wishes to invoke spousal/marital privilege, meaning statements he made to her may not be used in court.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 18.