• Last modified 487 days ago (Jan. 26, 2023)


Thouvenell trial may be postponed for 15th time

Staff writer

Six years since Marion resident Jerry Thouvenell was charged with 12 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child younger than 14 and one count of battery, his trial already has been delayed 14 times.

A conference is scheduled for Feb. 1 to decide whether trial will be delayed again because the case is no longer being prosecuted by the attorney general’s office. It was assigned Dec. 15 to county attorney Joel Ensey.

Assistant attorney general Stephanie Plaschka, the third assistant attorney general assigned to prosecute the case, withdrew Dec. 8.

Ensey filed a request Jan. 20 that Thouvenell’s trial be postponed yet again.

The first 10 times the trial was delayed by Thouvenell’s first lawyer, David Leon. The 11th delay was to give his second lawyer, Kevin Loeffler, time to prepare.

Thouvenell fired Leon after finding Leon was being investigated for alleged ethics violations. Kansas Supreme Court later suspended Leon’s license.

In February 2021, Loeffler asked judge Mark Braun to postpone trial again. He said his only staff member had been hospitalized and was expected to be out three to four weeks.

A new judge, James Fleetwood, was assigned June 16, 2022. For reasons not disclosed on court records, but possibly to fit his schedule, Fleetwood postponed the trial to March 6 and then to March 13.

Thouvenell’s alleged crimes occurred from Jan. 1, 2012, to Aug. 8, 2016.

His wife, Sheila Thouvenell, was charged in February 2017 with three counts of aggravated intimidation of a witness for allegedly preventing a witness from reporting a crime and two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

She struck a plea agreement and pleaded guilty in April 2018 to interference with law enforcement. She was sentenced to a year’s probation.

Last modified Jan. 26, 2023