UPDATE: Thursday, June 7, 2012
A Valley Center man charged with murder and child sex crimes will face a jury.
A Sedgwick County judge ruled Thursday there is enough evidence to send the case against against Daniel Perez to trial.
Perez is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the 2003 drowning death of Patricia Hughes. Prosecutors said Perez held Hughes under water at a pool behind her home, killing her to cash in on a life-insurance policy.
He is also accused of multiple crimes while living at Angel's Landing, a compound in which investigators said Perez led. The state argued Perez falsified documents on car loans and insurance applications.
A jury will also decide whether Perez is guilty of multiple child sex crimes. During a preliminary hearing last week, several witnesses testified Perez sexually abused them, some victims were as young as 8 years old.
Alice Osburn, defense attorney, argued the children were not held prisoners. She said they attended public schools and were allowed to leave the compound.
The defense said Perez never forced anyone living in the compound into any action.
Perez has not entered a plea on any of the 38 charges. His trial is scheduled for July 30.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Lawyers are preparing closing arguments in a preliminary hearing for the leader of a Kansas commune that lived lavish lifestyles off life insurance payouts for its dead members.
Prosecutors must convince a Sedgwick County judge Thursday that they presented enough evidence last week to justify putting Daniel U. Perez on trial. The 52-year-old man is charged with premeditated murder of a woman whose 2003 death was initially believed to be an
Perez also faces more than 30 other counts including lying on life insurance applications, rape, sodomy and sexual exploitation of a child.
Judges typically hold defendants over for trial at such preliminary proceedings. Perez would then be formally arraigned on the charges and enter his pleas.