Archive for Friday, August 9, 2002

Lecompton kidnapping case delayed

August 9, 2002

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It could be quite a while before trials begin for three men charged with kidnapping a man whose body was found more than a year ago in a Lecompton field.

A trial date for one of the suspects, Gary F. Holmes, 52, Topeka, won't be scheduled until Sept. 12.

Holmes' attorney, Elbridge Griffy, asked Douglas County District Court Judge Paula Martin on Thursday for the trial to be delayed as long as possible because of "a number of issues that need to be resolved." Holmes waived his right to a speedy trial, which would have required a trial within 90 days.

Holmes is charged with the aggravated kidnapping of Dale A. Miller, Topeka. Miller's body was found by Douglas County Sheriff's officers and Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents in April 2001. The badly decomposed body was under a rock and dirt pile in a field off East 225 Road a quarter-mile north of 2190 Road.

Holmes also is charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping.

A second suspect, Curtis D. Callarman, 23, Topeka also is charged with aggravated kidnapping and conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping. The third suspect, Michael W. Reece, 33, Topeka, faces the conspiracy charge.

Callarman and Reece are both in federal custody on drug charges. Douglas County Assistant Dist. Atty. Dan Dunbar said one of the issues to be resolved was when Callarman and Reece would be brought here for court appearances.

No one has been charged with killing Miller. The charges filed against Holmes state that Miller disappeared from his Topeka home in September 2000. Miller was 35 years old at that time.

An autopsy report states Miller died from multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and torso. The body wasn't identified until about a year after it was discovered.

Authorities haven't said what the motive was in Miller's kidnapping and death. Miller's father, Dale E. Miller, has said he thinks his son was involved with drugs.

In 1975 Holmes was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the killing of a Mayetta man in Topeka. Curtis G. Scott was shot to death. Holmes also has several other criminal convictions, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Holmes is being held in the Douglas County Jail on $50,000 bond.

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