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Chuck Fleming trial Wed Oct 17th

 

Chuck Fleming Hearing

 

Oct 17, 2018

 

By Terry Bailey

 


 

On the night of August 15-16, 2003, local businesswoman, Carol Fleming, was killed by a single shotgun blast to her head while she was asleep in her bed at her residence on East 4th Street in Beloit.

 

At the time of Fleming’s death, hundreds of witnesses were interviewed, statements were taken, leads were followed up on and thousands of hours of investigative work was devoted to the crime.

 

Days passed. Weeks passed. Months passed. Eventually the case ran cold. As the years passed, most people in the Beloit area began to believe nobody would be held accountable for Fleming’s brutal death.

 

On July 16, 2018 Johnson County police arrested Chuck Fleming at his residence in Lenexa and transported him to Beloit where he was charged with his mother’s murder and held in the Mitchell County Jail in lieu of $1,000,000 bail. His arrest was a result of new evidence but the nature of the new evidence has not yet been released.

 

Fleming’s preliminary hearing began at 9:00 a.m. at the Mitchell County Courthouse on Wednesday, October 17. The hearing is being presided over by the Honorable Debra Wright. County Attorney Mark Noah will present evidence regarding the crime and Wright will determine if Noah has presented enough facts and details to convince Wright that probable cause exists to merit a trial for Fleming in the murder of his mother. Fleming is represented by public defender Julie Effenbeck.

 

In the first segment of the hearing the County Attorney calls witnesses who provide testimony to help support his case. Fleming’s attorney then cross examines the witnesses if so desired. The second segment is when the defense call witness to support their case.

 

The first witness called was Eric Hilt. At the time of the murder Hilt was a deputy for the Mitchell County Sheriff’s department. He was on duty the night of the shooting.

 

A call was received by the 911 dispatch at 3:14 a.m. and Hilt arrived at the Fleming residence at 622 Fourth Street at 3:23 a.m. Hilt, a 12 year veteran in service to Mitchell County and the City of Beloit at that time entered the house through the front door. He said the door was not locked.

 

Hilt said he saw Rick Harris at the front of a hallway. Harris was holding a handful of kitchen knives. Upon making eye contact with Harris, Hilt said Harris said, “She’s in here” pointing back into the hallway. Hilt had Harris put down the knives. Harris said he had grabbed the knives fearing the intruder was still in the house.

 

Hilt said he asked Harris, “What happened?” Harris replied, “I do not know, I was asleep.”

 

Hilt asked Harris, “Has anybody else been in the house that you know of?” Harris told Hilt that his son, David, was asleep on the couch in the front room.

 

The Mitchell County EMS arrived at the scene and began taking care of Carol’s body.

 

In the meantime, several other police officers including Frank Ghent and Ryan Stocker had arrived at the residence and secured the crime scene.

 

Hilt said he exited the house to oversee the activity in the yard and on the driveway. He said Chuck Fleming was in the front yard. When questioned by Hilt regarding what he was doing, Chuck replied, “I am feeding my dog.”

 

From 9 a.m. until 5:20 p.m. with an hour and half break for lunch, 12 additional witnesses were sworn in, thoroughly questioned and cross examined. These witnesses included: Dr. Christine Marozas, Wayne Ronnenbaum, Justin Paul, Aaron Cox, Doug Daugherty, Chad Fleming, Harvey Cox, Richard Harris, and David Harris.

 

These witnesses provided testimony similar to that provided by Hilt. There were minor variations and differences. How significant these variations will, most likely, be determined by further questioning on the witness stand.

 

Day two of the preliminary hearing will take place on Thursday, October 19 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

 


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