Accused killer’s hearing draws crowd in Franklin County
Friends and family of the four victims killed in rural Ottawa last week packed a Franklin County courtroom Monday afternoon to see the accused killer appear for a hearing.
Flanked by four officers, Kyle T. Flack, charged with four counts of murder, appeared in Franklin County District Court with his attorney, Ron Evans, head of the Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit in Topeka. Among the charges filed against Flack last week were two counts of capital murder, which means he could face the death penalty.
No pleas were entered in Monday's hearing, and no arguments were made by the attorneys. It was one of several legal proceedings that will take months to complete before the case goes to trial or is resolved, officials said.
Another court date was set for July 8 at 1:15 p.m., when attorneys will schedule a preliminary hearing for the state to present evidence that Flack should stand trial.
Flack is accused of killing 18-month-old Lana-Leigh Bailey; her mother, Kaylie Kathleen Bailey, 21, of Olathe; Bailey’s boyfriend, Andrew Adam Stout, 30, of Ottawa; and Steven Eugene White, 31, of Ottawa. Franklin County prosecutors have said they believe Flack shot the four to death at a house on Georgia Road, about five miles west of Ottawa.
Lana-Leigh's body was found late Saturday in rural Osage County, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, which said the body had been moved there from the Ottawa house. The three adults' bodies were discovered on May 6 and 7. Prosecutors have said they believe White was killed in late April, while the other three victims were killed together sometime between April 28 and May 6.
After the hearing, family members of the victims exchanged condolences with each other. Among them were Carla Fisher, mother of White, and relatives of Bailey and her daughter Lana.
“It did do me some good to see the other families,” Fisher said. “That helped.”
Stout's family was still seeking privacy, said his brother, Jackson Anderson, and might not be in court as the case goes forward. "It's been tough," Anderson said. "We don't know yet."
On Monday, the Stouts sent a family friend to represent them. "It's a sad day," Mark Graham said. Seeing Flack for the first time in court, he said, "made it all real."
Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said the investigation still is ongoing and the court case won't be resolved any time soon.
"It's the process," he said. "It's going to be long; it's going to be drawn out."
Richards also elaborated on the emotional nature of the case for investigators, especially after finding the body of Lana-Leigh Bailey.
“Death is tough for people to be dealing with anyway, but when you have an 18-month-old, it takes a toll,” he said. “When it came time for us to do the recovery, it became quiet; and a very solemn moment for everyone out there. And it hit home with a lot of people, people just needed to leave, get home and hug their kids.”
Adam Strunk contributed to this story.