The trial of Timothy Horacek of Downs only lasted a day inside the Mitchell County Courthouse on Tuesday. The trial dates for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week had been set during July’s Mitchell County Motion Day.
Horacek faced the charges of a Level 8 non-person felony in for criminal possession of firearms, criminal possession of explosives, and a Level 5 non-person felony of criminal hunting practices stemming from an incident on November 23, 2012. Two of the counts were dismissed with prejudice by District Judge Kim Cudney with Horacek pleading not guilty to all charges. Horacek was a convicted felon who by law cannot possess a firearm.
The day began with Mitchell County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Martin to give his recollection of the events and the confiscation of two fire arms at the same time that were located inside a truck with Horacek.
Officer Landon Cleveland with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism was later called to the stand in the afternoon and questioned about common raccoon hunting tactics in relation to the defendant’s behavior as that was Horacek stated that he had been doing.
Horacek’s brother Gary of Downs was called to the stand to be questioned for his perspective on what happened. Gary Horacek stated that his brother was cooperative and honest with Deputy Martin after locating both firearms as well as displaying the same traits when the Game Warden arrived. Horacek stated that he had only seen one of the firearms previously.
The Horacek’s sister Katrina Sporleder was then called to the stand and claimed that both firearms belonged to her. Sporleder stated that her brother wouldn’t be in the position he is today if she hadn’t left them in his vehicle. Upon the state’s questioning, County Attorney Mark Noah asked Sporleder if she had contacted Deputy Martin to tell him that anything about the firearms belonging to her to which she stated that she had not.
When the defendant took the stand, he stated that he did not see the firearms in the vehicle upon entering with his brother, nephew, and two hunting dogs. Horacek stated that contradictory to Deputy Martin’s story the firearms were not removed simultaneously.
Upon a rebuttal to call Deputy Martin to the stand, Martin stated that once he located one firearm, he asked if there was another as a part of his standard procedure.
After closing arguments were made by both the defense and the state, the jury stepped out to make a decision at approximately 3:50pm and returned to the court at 5:20pm with a verdict of guilty to the charges of criminal possession of each firearm. Sentencing in the matter was set by Judge Cudney for the afternoon of December 4th.