Kyle Flack now faces a life or death decision.
But the choice isn’t up to him.
The penalty phase of Flack’s capital murder case — when jurors agree on a sentence of either life imprisonment or the death penalty — is set to begin 9 a.m. Monday following Flack’s 11-day trial in Franklin County District Court.
Jurors convicted Flack Wednesday afternoon — about three hours after attorneys presented closing arguments — in the killings of four people in spring 2013 at a farmstead west of Ottawa.
They found him guilty of capital murder in the deaths of Kaylie Bailey, 21, and her 18-month-old daughter, Lana; second-degree murder in the death of Andrew Stout; premeditated first-degree murder in the death of Steven White; and criminal possession of a firearm. A sexual battery charge was dropped Wednesday morning with no explanation.
The four victims were murdered without provocation at the hand of a 12-gauge pump action shotgun linked to Flack, Stephen Hunting, Franklin County attorney, argued Wednesday.
“What on earth could an 18-month-old toddler do to pose a threat to anyone?” he asked.
Flack had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In closing arguments, Hunting connected more than 550 exhibits presented during the trial testimony to argue that Flack acted alone in the killings.
What was the motive?
Hunting said he had no explanation.
“The person who pulled the trigger meant to do it,” Hunting said, explaining that the killings were premeditated and thought out.
In initial questioning with law enforcement, Flack was armed with knowledge about where, when and how the crimes occurred that accurately matched the crime scenes, Hunting said.
“There’s only one way that you know that,” Hunting said. “You were there and you did it.”
Video and audio recordings of the interviews were replayed for jurors during the first days of the trial, revealing Flack offered multiple versions of stories about what happened at 3197 Georgia Road, where three of the four victims’ bodies were found in May 2013.
The stories all were designed to push blame off himself, Hunting said, including tales in which two Hispanic men from Kansas City were the killers. The duo were later investigated by detectives, who determined they did not exist.
Maban Wright, one of Flack’s defense attorneys, questioned why detectives were so quick to dismiss her client’s explanations of who else might have been involved, instead accepting his incriminating statements as evidence to “weave its web.”
“Kyle Flack had no motive to kill his friends ... however, someone else might,” she said.
Wright reminded jurors of several pieces of evidence that created a “layer of contamination,” she said, pointing to another person’s presence at the property, including unidentified DNA existing on Kaylie Bailey, as well as footprints at the crime scene, a missing XBOX gaming console and a disabled vehicle that belonged to Stout’s friend at the property.
“Is it possible that Kyle’s story has greater truth to it than the state wants you to think?” Wright said.
She said she could not say Flack was not somehow involved in the murders, but did not offer any other specific individuals.
In a brief rebuttal, Hunting told jurors they are not instructed to ignore weaker evidence and they are required to look at the totality of the case.
Hunting replayed a conversation Flack had with his mother after he had been in jail for a few months.
“I’m gonna end up gettin’ a lot of time outta this,” Flack said in the audio clip.
Once the judge had read the verdicts and Flack prepared to be led out of the courtroom, he exchanged “I love yous”with his mother, who was sitting in the audience behind him.
Amelia Arvesen is a Herald staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AmeliaArvesen.