OSWEGO — The alleged victim in a kidnapping case failed to show up in court Wednesday so a preliminary hearing was rescheduled for next week.
The hearing was for Vernell E. Golston Jr., born in 1981, 2026 Appleton. Golston faces two cases in Labette County District Court. In one case, he’s charged with aggravated kidnapping, a level one felony punishable by up to 54 years in prison, and domestic battery, a misdemeanor. In the other case, he’s charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery, a lower level felony.
The complaint alleges the incidents happened on May 3, 2018, and Sept. 1, 2019. The alleged victim in each case is the same, listed as Golston’s girlfriend.
Golston and his attorney, Shane Adamson, and Deputy County Attorney Mandy Johnson appeared in Judge Fred W. Johnson’s courtroom in Oswego Wednesday afternoon. Mandy Johnson said her police officers were ready to testify, but the alleged victim had not shown up. She didn’t know if the alleged victim showed up in Parsons, where court normally takes place, even though Mandy Johnson said the county attorney’s office had been in contact with the alleged victim and told her about the location change for court.
Judge Johnson’s busy court docket has been moved to the third floor of the courthouse in Oswego on order of the 11th Judicial District’s Chief Judge Oliver Kent Lynch.
Mandy Johnson said she could begin presenting evidence of the police officers and their interactions with the alleged victim and return another time to hear the alleged victim testify.
Adamson objected to that and preferred to hear all the evidence at one time. He argued that the alleged victim didn’t appear interested in seeing the case prosecuted. He also asked for his client to be released from jail, where he’s being held on bonds totaling $100,000.
Judge Johnson ruled he would reschedule the preliminary hearing for next Wednesday, but he decided he would not reduce Golston’s bond.
In another case, Geoffrey J. Luna, 23, appeared in court Wednesday for an extradition hearing on a detainer from Hidalgo County, Texas. The county borders Mexico and McAllen is one of its cities. Luna, arrested Tuesday night by the Labette County Sheriff’s Department, faces aggravated robbery and associated charges in Hidalgo County.
Judge Johnson explained the extradition process to Luna and asked him if he wanted to waive the process and allow Texas to come pick him up from the Labette County Jail or if he wanted to fight the process and force the governor of Texas to issue the paperwork for the case. Johnson explained that extradition isn’t about proving the facts of the case but that Texas has its paperwork in order.
Luna said he didn’t want to sign the extradition paperwork, which means Texas’ governor has to issue the extradition paperwork to Kansas. The process can take up to 90 days.
“I’m good here,” Luna told Judge Johnson.
Judge Johnson set a review date for March 2 and told Luna the Texas detainer set his bond at $150,000.