The state has turned over thousands of documents on 45 computer discs as part of the sharing of evidence in the Dennis Rader murder case.
Now, prosecutors are asking for the same from the defense.
As in nearly every other case that comes before him, Sedgwick County District Judge Greg Waller signed off on the defense team's request for state's evidence Friday morning. Prosecutors followed, as expected, with their own request for information, including copies of expert reports and mental exams the defense may later seek to use in their case.
Waller sustained what lawyers commonly call a motion for discovery, signing an order in his chambers before taking the bench for his usual parade of cases on the daily criminal hearing docket.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"This is a routine motion, and that's the way it's being handled," Steve Osburn, one of Rader's lawyers, said before entering the courtroom to tend to his other duties as the chief of Sedgwick County's public defenders' office.
The turning over of state's evidence to the defense, as required by law, followed the usual ritual.
Prosecutors Kevin O'Connor and Kim Parker did contest parts of the request as being too broad and beyond the requirements of the law. But both sides quickly reached an agreement without a hearing.
O'Connor's filing revealed the extent of what the state had turned over, including thousands of reports, photos and pictures of physical evidence from a 31-year police investigation into Wichita's notorious case of the BTK serial killer. Rader is charged with killing 10 people from 1974 to 1991 in connection with that case.
Most of the evidence has been compacted into electronic and digital computer files.
"Although massive amounts of discovery have been provided, (it) can be stored in a small binder and a small box," O'Connor wrote in his response.
Prosecutors also say they have turned over 2,600 pages of paper documents.
While routine, the requests for discovery signify a key turning point in the case, allowing the defense to look at pretty much whatever it wants relating to the investigation that led to Rader's arrest in late February.
The access to information will form the foundation of future motions that the defense will file to test the state's case and help ensure Rader receives a fair trial.
"We have several motions in the works, but we want to make sure we have all the information we need to do it right," Osburn said.
For its part, the state wants to see any expert witnesses the defense may hire in representing Rader. O'Connor also asked for "a copy of any neurological, psychological, medical and/or psychiatric tests administered to defendant and the results of such testing" that may be used in future hearings or at trial.