Judge sets $150K bond for man described as ‘person of interest’ in Kansas teen’s deathBy AP
Monday, August 30, 2010
Man tied to girl’s disappearance appears in court
GREAT BEND, Kan. — A man considered a person of interest in the death of a 14-year-old girl is a flight risk and a potential danger to the public, the Kansas attorney general told a judge Monday.
Attorney General Steve Six said Adam Joseph Longoria had 13 prior felony convictions, including one for attempted escape. He is also wanted on a warrant out of Marion, N.C., accusing him of falsely reporting threats at an elementary school.
Longoria, 36, was arrested Friday driving an SUV reported stolen from a Great Bend asphalt company where Alicia DeBolt’s charred body was found just a few days earlier.
Six said at Longoria’s first court appearance on charges of vehicular burglary and theft that stealing the SUV was a “desperate act” spurred by the investigation of DeBolt’s death. He also noted Longoria of Great Bend mailed his personal belongings to Texas shortly before fleeing in the stolen vehicle.
Longoria appeared in court without an attorney. He told the judge he had cooperated with authorities “from day one,” and that he wasn’t a flight risk because law enforcement officials told him he wasn’t being detained when questioned.
Barton County Judge Hannelore Kitts granted the prosecution’s request for a $150,000 bond and agreed to revisit conditions of release if he makes bond.
A hearing was set Sept. 6 to review the status of Longoria’s legal representation.
Outside the courthouse, Six said prosecutors were not ready to call Longoria a suspect in DeBolt’s death, and that authorities continued to pursue all leads.
“We will be making further decisions about what happens in that case based on the investigation and the facts we are continuing to work on,” Six said. “This case is a tragedy. I think we saw that last night in the vigil that was held here in Great Bend.”
About 2,000 people turned out for the Sunday night candlelight vigil to remember DeBolt.
Some of her young friends wore flip flops and wrapped blue ribbons in their hair in honor of the teen they called “Babygurl,” who would have started her freshman year of high school as a cheerleader on Aug. 23.
Alicia left her house at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 21 to go to a party, and her family reported her missing the next afternoon. Her body was found Tuesday.
She was so badly burned that the coroner had to rely on dental records to identify the remains. Authorities have not said how she died.
“She didn’t deserve to die the way she did,” Erica Schwager, a 15-year-old friend, said tearfully.
Rev. Scott Solether, a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Great Bend, said Alicia’s death affected a lot of people in the community. Great Bend is a city of about 15,600 people about 95 miles northwest of Wichita.
“First, shock this would happen, then anger it would happen to someone so young, and then a lot of compassion,” he said.
Longoria had only been out of prison for three months when authorities said the Highway Patrol caught him Friday off Interstate 70 near Salina.
The Kansas charges are the latest in a long rap sheet for Longoria, who was released May 25 from a Texas prison after completing a seven-year sentence for aggravated robbery. Records in Texas show Longoria has done time there since 1991 for charges including burglary, forgery, credit card abuse, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, escape from prison and evading arrest.
Tags: Great Bend, Kansas, Materials, Missing Persons, North America, Texas, Theft, United States