GREAT BEND — Prosecutors today charged Adam Longoria with capital murder in the death of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt.
In a brief appearance this morning in Barton County District Court, the 36-year-old former Texas prison inmate was told that he was also being charged with criminal sodomy. The charges say the crimes took place on or about Aug. 21 or 22, after the Great Bend cheerleader left home and was reportedly seen getting into a vehicle.
After the hearing, Attorney General Steve Six said he did not anticipate charging anyone else in Alicia's death.
The capital murder charge alleges that she was killed "during the commission of, or subsequent to, the crime of criminal sodomy."
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Six again declined to comment on the specific cause of death. The teen's body was found burned.
Asked why he couldn't discuss specifics of the case, Six said it will be a "heavily scrutinized" case because it involves the possibility of the death penalty.
"All the details will be set forth in open court,'' he said.
Without elaborating, Six criticized some of the things being said about the case in online comments. He called some of the comments "horrible," "judgmental" and "off-base."
Alicia was last seen leaving her home late the night of Aug. 21, supposedly to attend a party. There had been initial reports that she left with a 19-year-old man. A few days later, an employee found her burned body at an asphalt plant several miles west of Great Bend where Longoria had worked.
When Judge Hannelore Kitts asked Longoria whether he understood the charges, he first nodded. Prompted by his attorney, Jeff Wicks, Longoria then said, "Yeah."
At times, he squinted. Before being led off by deputies, he stared at the ceiling and puffed out his clean-shaven cheeks.
Longoria is being represented by attorneys with the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit.
His bond was set at $1.5 million. Six said the bond was "entirely appropriate" to ensure public safety and Longoria's appearance in court.
Alicia's family sat in the front row of the courtroom, facing Longoria.
Asked how Alicia's family is doing, Six said they are devastated. "They are still in shock."
He said he was "grateful to the community of Great Bend for their patience" during the investigation that led to today's charges.
A preliminary hearing date has yet to be set.
Longoria had been named a "person of interest" in Alicia's death a few days after her body was found. He already was being held in the Barton County jail on charges of vehicle burglary and theft related to an SUV that was stolen Aug. 27 from the paving business that employed him. The Kansas Highway Patrol arrested him on I-70 outside of Salina.
Longoria moved to Great Bend in May after being released from a Texas prison. He had been living with a girlfriend and her two children.
Alicia would have been a freshman at Great Bend High School. A memorial service was held for her last Friday.