August 30, 2010

Six 'confident murder charges will be filed' in teen's death

GREAT BEND — Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said today that he's "confident murder charges will be filed" in the death of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt.

GREAT BEND — Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said today that he's "confident murder charges will be filed" in the death of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt.

"We will charge somebody with murder,'' Six said shortly after Adam Longoria, a "person of interest" in Alicia's death, appeared in Barton County District Court. Longoria is charged with vehicle burglary and theft.

Six did not say who those murder charges will be filed against but said he expected charges "in the not too distant future." He continued to refer to Longoria as a "person of interest."

Asked whether Longoria was the only focus of the investigation, Six responded that investigators "haven't closed any doors in this case" and were pursuing all leads. He said the investigation is "proceeding in an orderly fashion."

Dozens of investigators have been working on the case "with very little sleep," he said.

During this morning's court hearing, Six asked for and Judge Hannelore Kitts granted a motion to set Longoria's bail at $150,000. Kitts said the bond amount "sounds reasonable to me."

Six contended that after Longoria's house was searched as part of the homicide investigation, he fled in a stolen vehicle. It was a "desperate act" based on the homicide investigation, Six told the judge.

"I believe that the defendant is in a desperate state of mind," Six said.

Six contended that Longoria poses a flight risk and a threat to public safety.

Longoria, who does not yet have an attorney, told the judge he didn't understand how he could be considered a flight risk.

"I've cooperated with the agencies from day one,'' said Longoria, 36, who wore orange-and-white-striped jail clothes and ankle chains.

He is a muscular, stocky man with shaved hair on the sides and back, exposing scars on the back of his head.

Longoria said authorities told him after questioning last week that he was not being held and could "go as I pleased."

After the court appearance, Six said the killing of a 14-year-old, "taken from the community," is a "horrendous, horrendous tragedy." Alicia, a cheerleader, was about to start her freshman year at Great Bend High.

Six said his office has met with Alicia's family constantly. He again asked that their privacy be respected.

Alicia's family attended today's hearing and sat in the front row of the courtroom.

Six said Longoria has an extensive criminal history, including at least 13 felony convictions. He said four of those convictions were for crimes against a person, including aggravated robbery.

He said Longoria also has a pending case in North Carolina in which he is charged with calling in threats to an elementary school.

Six said Longoria, who was released from a Texas prison in May, had some personal items, including clothing, mailed to Texas around the time authorities say he stole a car from his employer and left Great Bend.

Longoria later told the judge he mailed a couple of cowboy hats and a pair of pants to Texas.

Six requested that if Longoria is able to post bond, that the court hold a hearing before Longoria could be released. Kitts said such a hearing would be held.

She scheduled a review by attorneys in the case for Sept. 7.

Authorities say a vehicle was stolen from Longoria's employer early Friday. Later that day, the Kansas Highway Patrol arrested him on I-70 after authorities issued a statewide alert.

Alicia's burned body was found Tuesday afternoon — at an asphalt plant where Longoria worked — more than two days after she was last seen leaving her home and getting into a darker colored SUV.

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