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Pretrial rulings from Wednesdays hearing
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District Judge Hannelore Kitts will issue her decision on the venue issue for the Adam Longoria case next Monday. Kitts did rule on several other pretrial issues on Wednesday, including:


• Longoria voluntarily agreed to be interviewed twice at the Great Bend Police Department when he had not yet been arrested. A tape of one interview is admissible, as is testimony from officers present at the interviews.

• The judge granted a request for an order that the state reveal any agreements it makes in exchange for testimony. The state said no deals have been made to date.

• She denied a request for an order that would have prohibited the state from asking experts hired to testify for the defense about their compensation.

• A request that any data the prosecution has on potential jurors be turned over to the defense was denied. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bauch said, "We don’t have a database that we’re utilizing in that manner."

• A motion to change the procedure for jurors’ entrances and exits from jury room to courtroom was denied because the issue is moot, Kitts said. "We’re going to facilitate orderly procedure." She said there were problems during the Sydney Gleason trial (where a family member of the defendant accosted a juror). "We’re going to make sure that that’s not going to happen," Kitts said. There will be two bailiffs instead of one to help protect jurors.

• Also moot was the request for a court order to prevent outbursts of emotion in the courtroom by warning family members in advance of unsettling testimony. The defense also wanted said warnings issued outside of the presence of the jury, so the jury would not see large groups suddenly exit the courtroom. "These are logistic things we don’t need a court order for," Kitts said.

• Kitts granted the defense’s "Motion to Regulate State’s Reliance on Body Language as a Rationale for Peremptory Challenge," which deals with jury selection, but couldn’t resist asking the defense attorneys, "Where did they teach you how to phrase these motions?"

• A policy concerning electronic devices in the courtroom and jury room, including smartphones, will be adopted, Kitts said. The specifics will be announced before the trial.

• A request that jurors be compensated for day care costs and paid a wage (above that set by county policy, which is based on state law) was denied. The defense argued poor people might suffer a hardship from lost wages and thus unable to serve on the jury. "The comes up all the time. It’s pertinent in any trial," Kitts said. "(Jury duty) is an obligation; however, it is also a privilege to be called for jury duty. Until the Legislature determines it shall be different, we’re going to do what the statute says."

• A request to sequester witnesses will need further review. The concerns are that family members shouldn’t have to stay outside the courtroom because they’ll be called to testify, and security shouldn’t be threatened because many law enforcement officers would also have to stay outside.

• A motion to dismiss the charges based on the claim that the state has filed "inflammatory" motions that were reported on in the media (instead of filing them under seal and/or toning down the language) was denied.