New Charges

By: Eric James
By: Eric James

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The man accused of killing and decapitating a woman at a Wichita apartment complex faces new charges that could bring the death penalty.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney's office has dropped it's original case against Douglas Belt. Belt was charged with the first degree murder and decapitation of Lucille Gallegos last June. New, more serious charges were filed late this afternoon. Now instead of facing life in prison, Belt faces the death penalty if he's convicted of killing Gallegos.

Belt appeared before Judge Gregory Waller this afternoon. He was informed that capital murder charges were being filed against him.

Chief litigator Kevin O'Conner says the investigation into Gallegos' murder was never closed. New evidence revealed Belt may have committed murder during the act of attempted rape. Under Kansas law, that constitutes capital murder. So besides the new murder charges, he's also facing two attempted rape charges.

Just last week, the KBI admitted they had botched a DNA test, which allowed Belt to walk free for 12 years. The DA's office says the KBI discovery had no affect on the new charges.

Douglas Belt still faces rape charges in three other Kansas counties.

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