Face of evil Kyle Flack to remain on Kansas death row

TOPEKA – Lana Baily would have been a 5th grader this year, if Kyle Flack hadn’t murdered her when she was a year and-a-half old, stuffed her little body in a suitcase and tossed it in an Osage County creek after raping and murdering her mother and killing two other men on a Franklin County farm in April 2013.

But the jury verdict that will keep Flack, 38, on Kansas’ death from now on will stand, according to a 6-1 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court last week after an appeal filed by Flack’s attorney.

Flack, who previously served a little over two years of a five-year sentence for the attempted murder of another man in 2005, petitioned an appeal of his conviction for murdering Lana, her mother Kaylie Bailey, 21, as well as Andrew Stout, 30, and Steven White, 31. His attorney maintained Flack’s demands to police to “take me to jail” during his interrogation should have been interpreted by investigators as an invocation of his right to remain silent. Officers used incriminating statements he made during that initial interview to base their case and the subsequent conviction. Flack was sentenced in 2016.

Justices for the KSC ruled against the motion, saying Flack’s statements could have been viewed a number of ways by police and were not distinct enough to convey an assertion of his Fifth Amendment Right against self incrimination.

Justice Evelyn Wilson was the lone vote in dissent against the majority opinion, saying Flack’s request to be taken to jail was a clear attempt to end the interrogation, noting she would reverse Flack’s first and second degree murder convictions and vacate the death sentence as well as remand the case for a new trial. 

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach affirmed the finding, saying the supreme court’s move brought the case closer to justice.

“The Court’s decision today brings the victims’ families one step closer to seeing justice served,” Kobach said in a statement. “It is unfortunate it took the court almost 24 months to issue this decision. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 2004, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that decision in 2005. Kansas has not executed anyone since 1965, although it has 9 convicts on death row awaiting execution.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.