Common Law Marriages
A common law marriage is a marriage by agreement of the two persons without any formal ceremony or license. A common law marriage will be recognized in Kansas if the couple considers themselves to be married and publicly... holds themselves out to be married and if they are legally eligible to marry. No minimum period of cohabitation is required.
Common Law marriages are subject to the same legal obligations and privileges that apply to marriages with licenses. Once a common law marriage is established, the couple must get a court ordered divorce to terminate the marriage.
Attorney General Steve Six has asked the court to rule on whether a common law marriage exists between capital murder suspect Adam Longoria and Eva Brown, the woman he was living with at the time of his arrest.
Longoria, 36, is the Great Bend man charged with killing 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt on the weekend of Aug. 21. He is charged with capital murder, criminal sodomy and vehicle theft. Barton County District Court Judge Hannelore Kitts has scheduled a hearing to address all pre-trial motions on Oct. 21, and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 18.
In a motion filed last Friday, Six requests a ruling concerning the marriage status of Longoria and Brown. According to the motion, law enforcement officers have interviewed Brown, and in the interviews she "revealed statements made to her by the defendant that could ... potentially be protected by marital privilege if Ms. Brown and the defendant were married." Under Kansas law, someone accused of a crime has a privilege to prevent his spouse from testifying about any confidential communication made between them while they were husband and wife.
The prosecution wants to call Brown to testify at the preliminary hearing, but Six notes that at Longoria’s arraignment when the court asked his marital status, the defendant replied, "common law."
Attorneys from the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit have not yet filed a response to the motion.