[Editor’s note: The following report includes graphic details from public court proceedings that some readers might find unsettling.]
Victims of a spring 2013 quadruple homicide all suffered wounds from a 12-gauge shotgun and were left under either a tarp or mound of clothes, prosecutors said.
From Monday through Wednesday, jurors in the trial of Kyle Flack, 30, Ottawa, saw the results of shotgun blasts in several graphic photographs of the bodies of Steven White, Andrew Stout and his girlfriend, Kaylie Bailey, as they were found at 3197 Georgia Road, west of Ottawa.
Flack is accused of their spring 2013 killings. He is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Kaylie Bailey, 21, and her 18-month-old daughter, Lana, whose body was found tucked inside a suitcase, floating in an Osage County creek. Flack also is charged with premeditated first-degree murder in the deaths of Stout, 30, and White, 31, criminal possession of a firearm, and misdemeanor sexual battery against Kaylie Bailey.
His defense team objected during the trial, as well as in pretrial hearings, to photographs of the bodies, arguing they were prejudicial and could inflame the jury. District Judge Eric W. Godderz previously reviewed all photographs and ruled that several were too gruesome, but some could be admitted at trial.
Crime scene investigators who processed the property, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsies and a forensic entomologist expert who examined maggots were called to testify this week. They were aided by photographic sequences captured at the residence and at a morgue in Kansas City.
Also shown this week were multiple firearm components — including shotgun pellets, waddings and shells the size of lipstick tubes — found littered throughout the outbuilding and master bedroom.
Family members of the victims exited the courtroom before photographs of their deceased loved ones were displayed on the screen.
Only a few times did Flack glance up, his focus remained on the note pad in front of him.
In the residence
The bodies of the couple, Kaylie Bailey and Andrew Stout, who were shown buried beneath a mountain of clothing piled as high as the bed in the master bedroom of the Ottawa residence.
In one corner of the room was a child’s play pen. In other corners were their bodies.
By the time crime scene investigators arrived the evening of May 6, 2013, the victims had been dead for about a week.
Stout, whose family owned the residence, was found sitting partially upright against a vanity and dresser. He was covered by a sea of more than 100,000 maggots, Neal Haskell, an international forensic entomologist consultant, said.
Stout had decomposed tremendously to the point that he had become mummified, according to testimony. Skin from his face had been eaten away by insects, revealing his skeleton.
His positioning near an air vent offered the possibility for heat to blow onto the mound, making it an ideal environment for mother flies to lay eggs and speed up the decaying process, Haskell said.
After studying temperatures as well as insects — identified as blow fly larvae — he determined Stout died between April 28 and 30.
Tears to Stout’s shirt and multiple holes in his body were evidence of how he died.
At least five different wounds to Stout’s face, shoulders, torso and neck were fatal, Erik Mitchell, a forensic pathologist who said he has performed more than 12,000 autopsies, said.
Mitchell concluded that at least four wounds were consistent with projections from a 12-gauge shotgun. Indentations to his skull were likely the result of blows to his head before he was shot, he said.
Laying on her back at Stout’s feet, was his girlfriend, Kaylie Bailey.
One shotgun blast — about 2 inches in diameter — to the back of her neck exiting from her face immediately killed her, Mitchell said. Flecks of shotgun material from the blast were found in her hair.
Haskell said he could determine that she died between May 2 and 5, even though there was no insect activity located on her body. He noted it is possible she died May 1, the day the prosecution said she was killed.
Photographs of Bailey showed her naked from the waist down, her arms bound behind her back and a red bandana around her neck.
Flack was originally charged with rape, which was later lessened to misdemeanor sexual battery. It is unclear so far what evidence the prosecution plans to present relating to the sex charge.
In the outbuilding
A well-worn Wichita State shockers cap lay on the metal outbuilding’s dirt floor.
It became significant to crime scene investigators who observed blood stains on the yellow bill and a piece of human tissue located nearby, later linked through DNA testing to Steven White.
White, who had lived with Stout at 3197 Georgia Road for a few years, was found not far from his hat, laying on his back under a tarp and various items piled high beside a red Chevrolet Caprice.
After he was killed, his body was moved, Jeremiah Morris, a Johnson County forensic scientist specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis, said. The conclusion was based on the location of blood spatter and brain matter.
White’s autopsy was performed May 8, 2013, Mitchell said. He verified that White died as a result of two shotgun blasts: one to the face and one to the chest.
A photograph shown Tuesday of his reconstructed skull after tissue had been removed showed a sizable hole in his head.
Prosecutors have said he was the first victim murdered.
From the study of entomology kits collected from White’s liquefied brain, Haskell determined he died between April 18 and 20.
Evidence of 18-month-old Lana Bailey’s body has not yet been presented, though Mitchell and crime scene investigators are expected to be called again to testify.
Amelia Arvesen is a Herald staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @AmeliaArvesen.