By Managing Editor Teri L. Hansen
Noah Bratcher, 19, has requested a change of venue for future proceedings in his case. Bratcher stands accused in the shooting death of 22-year-old Jordan Krell on June 11, 2018. In the motion the defense states that Bratcher, his family, the victim and his family are all residents of McPherson County and that family members of Bratcher are involved in civil litigation in the county as well.
In addition, the motion contends that this case has garnered extensive media attention and that the incident has become a topic of conversation within the community. The motion states, “That over the span of the case, rumors have spread like wildfire throughout the community via social media, and have elicited threats of violence against the Defendant; That though the media reports, the allegations as contained within the court filings which are public record, and community attention, the result is the taint of a jury panel in this small community, to the detriment of Mr. Bratcher.”
On June 11, 2018 at 12:25 a.m., emergency personnel responded to Mustang Mobile Park for a report of shots fired. The body of Krell was found in a vacant lot in the 400 block of Dale’s Draw. Krell was pronounced dead at the scene, the result of a gunshot wound, which was ruled a homicide.
Bratcher is being charged with murder in the first degree, attempted aggravated robbery, burglary of a vehicle and theft of a firearm. Bratcher at the time of the incident was 17 years old, though he will be tried as an adult. At the time of his arrest he was booked into juvenile detention. He was moved to the McPherson County Law Enforcement Center after he turned 18 on June 28, 2018 just weeks after the incident and has remained in custody since.
In addition to the change of venue, numerous other motions have been filed by both sides in the matter. Chief Deputy County Attorney Amanda Voth and County Attorney Gregory T. Benefiel gave notice that they intend to use statements Bratcher made to law enforcement during the trial. The motion maintains that Bratcher made these statements of his own freewill and volunteered the statements without threat or misrepresentation.
However, the defense responded with a motion to suppress any statements made to law enforcement. The defense claims that such statements weren’t made of his own freewill. They also state that at one point the defendant was can be seen in footage “acting very tired and lethargic” and told law enforcement that prior to being given Miranda Rights.
The defense also maintains that on more than one occasion, Bratcher was not given Miranda Rights prior to speaking with law enforcement, while in custody. The motion claims that “Statements made to law enforcement officers while he was in custody were made in violation of his Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to counsel and against self-incrimination and are therefor inadmissible as evidence against him.”
These motions will be ruled upon at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 16, 2020.