• Last modified 3262 days ago (May 20, 2010)


Hearing in toddler's death delayed

Second request for bond reduction denied

Staff writer

The mother of 19-month-old Vincent Hill, who died March 27 allegedly from child abuse, appeared with her attorney Monday morning in Harvey County District Court for a preliminary hearing.

Katheryn Nycole Dale is charged with two counts of aggravated endangerment of a child and one count each of aggravated battery and child abuse stemming from the death of her son.

Dale’s attorney, Gregory Barker, asked District Court Judge Joe Dickinson for a continuance of the hearing because he had not yet received a piece of discovery evidence he considered crucial to Dale’s defense.

The law requires attorneys for both the prosecution and defense to share certain evidence during what is known as “discovery.” Although Harvey County Attorney David Yoder had mailed copies of the evidence to Barker, Barker said his office had not received it.

“The evidence is critical to the case and I cannot go on without it,” he said. “I can’t prepare my client’s defense without it.”

Barker asked for a continuance of the preliminary trial until 2 p.m. June 16.

Barker then requested that Dale’s bond be reduced from $50,000 and that she be released on her own recognizance with electronic monitoring. Barker made a similar request to Dickinson on April 30, which was denied.

“Katheryn Dale has been in jail an extraordinary amount of time already, your honor — 52 days,” Barker said. “She is not perceived as a threat to the community. This is not a safety issue, it is a flight issue.”

Barker went on to explain that the child-in-need-of-care issue that focuses on Dale’s infant daughter would keep Dale in Harvey County.

“Also she has family here. She is not going anywhere,” Barker added.

Harvey County Attorney David Yoder presented postal receipts for records his office sent April 27 and copies of two DVDs that were mailed to Barker’s office May 5 in Wichita.

“I don’t know what happened to the discovery evidence,” Yoder said. “They are hung up in the mail somewhere. I certainly have no issue with the continuance, your honor. Mr. Barker needs the materials to prepare his case.”

However, Yoder argued against the bond reduction or Dale’s release on her own recognizance.

“We believe she has made statements about her involvement with the injuries to Vincent Hill that could prompt her to flee,” he said. “She also has family in Texas, I believe.

“I would ask the court to deny the request related to the bond,” Yoder said.

Dickinson denied the bond reduction, but approved the continuance to June 16.

Last modified May 20, 2010