Crime & Courts

A.G. Six: Recording of Great Bend murder suspect's call to lawyer was unintentional

GREAT BEND — Kansas Attorney General Steve Six says a phone call placed by a man accused of killing a Great Bend girl to his lawyer's office was recorded unintentionally.

Six has responded to a dozen motions filed last week by Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit attorneys representing Adam Joseph Longoria, 36, who is charged with capital murder and criminal sodomy in the death last month of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt.

In one defense motion, Longoria's attorneys requested the case be dismissed or the state be prohibited from seeking the death penalty because jail officials improperly recorded and listened to a phone call from Longoria to his attorney's office.

Six, in his response, said in order for there to have been a constitutional violation under the Fifth Amendment, "the intrusion into the attorney-client relationship must be outrageous enough to shock the conscience of the court."

Six notes a constitutional violation is triggered when the state "becomes privy to confidential communications due to purposeful intrusion" into the attorney-client privilege relationship.

He doesn't dispute the call was recorded but said the "substance of the call" was Longoria's request to a staff member in his attorney's office that his attorney, Jeffrey Wicks, come to the jail to meet with him.

He also argued recording the call was a mistake and not purposeful, as the Barton County Sheriff's Office routinely monitors inmate phone calls and "steps were put into place to allow the defendant to make unrecorded calls to his attorney."

Many of the defense's routine motions in the case were not disputed by Six, such as preserving police communications and physical evidence in the case.

The defense had also requested the court take protective measures to guard Longoria "against the corrosive effect on snitch testimony," according to court documents. The defense motion asked that any testimony from jail informants be heavily scrutinized and that efforts be taken to ensure no jailhouse informants "are created in this case to manufacture evidence for the state."

In his response, Six said law indicates that if law enforcement places an informant in the jail cell or arranges for an informant to talk to a defendant, the evidence can't be used, but if the defendant voluntarily speaks with someone, the evidence can be used.

"The state has no intention of trying to obtain information from the defendant through an informant," Six stated in his response. "If this should occur, then the defendant can seek relief at that time."

A hearing on motions in the case is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Barton County District Court.

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