Testimony Begins In Salina Murder Trial
Todd Pittenger - March 25, 2014 5:21 pm
The American Civil Liberties Union has revised its lawsuit over gay marriage in Kansas to raise new claims that the state is refusing to recognize the unions performed in Kansas and other states.
Jurors heard a full day of testimony Tuesday in a trial stemming from a Salina murder.
Prosecutors said they would prove how 33-year-old Dane DeWeese helped in the murder of 27-year-old Kristin Tyler, saying they would provide testimony on how she was beaten with a chain and her face was held underwater.
Last Spring Tyler went missing. The mother of four was missing two weeks before her body was found in a ravine off a rural road.
Tyler disappeared on April 25th. Her body was discovered on May 9th, just west of Salina on Stimmel Road below Interstate 135. Numerous law enforcement officers had been searching the area, and a sheriff deputy on patrol made the discovery.
Deweese, 25-year-old Joel Heil, and 21-year-old Megan Wells, all of Abilene, are charged in the case.
Shortly after the body was found police arrested Heil and DeWeese. Megan Wells was arrested on February 26th of this year.
Among those testifying Tuesday was 19-year-old Garnett Barboza, who goes by the nickname “Fancy”. Barboza told of going with Tyler to purchase methamphetamine the night she disappeared. She testified that Tyler instructed her to “duck down in the backseat” because those selling the drugs didn’t want to be seen. She said Tyler parked the car near a home at 9th and Walnut in Salina, where DeWeese lived. She returned a few minutes later, but left again after saying that she forgot something. Tyler then never returned. After about an hour and a half, Barboza got out of the car and walked home.
Also testifying was Charles “Chuck” Rowson. He told jurors about taking Tyler to Wichita to retrieve her car, which Joel Heil had driven there and left. He told of a violent encounter with Heil prior to leaving for Wichita, where Heil produced a heavy chain and slammed it against a couch in anger.
Another full day of testimony is scheduled Wednesday.
The Saline County Sheriff’s Office and the Salina Police Department are continuing to investigate the case.