Archive for Thursday, January 29, 2004

Trial could be delayed

Brett Bidnick faces county citations

January 29, 2004

Brett Bidnick was just feet away and offered no aid, police said.

About 9:20 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 9, 2003, Basehor man Kevin Swope lay injured in his car. Instead of helping the wounded 22-year-old man, Bidnick fled on foot, police said.

The following day, Swope, a 2000 graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School and father of an infant son, died from his injuries.

Police say that Bidnick was the second driver involved in the October accident at the intersection of Kansas Highway 32 and 166th Street, in which Swope was fatally injured.

Bidnick is charged with failing to render assistance to an injured person, failure to report an injury accident, failure to report an accident by quickest means and driving with a suspended license, all misdemeanor charges.

Although his trial is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4 in Leavenworth County District Court, prosecutors said this week the trial probably would be postponed.

"I am 99 percent sure it's going to be continued," said Debra Owen, coordinator of the Leavenworth County Victim Witness Office. "There is a witness that will not be available on that date."

Since the charges against Bidnick are all misdemeanors, a judge will decide whether he is guilty, prosecutors said. If it begins as scheduled, the trial is not expected to last longer than Wednesday.

In recent months, courtrooms have not proved friendly for Bidnick.

Earlier this month, Leavenworth County District Court Judge Frederick Stewart upheld charges Bidnick was convicted of in Basehor Municipal Court.

Bidnick was convicted in Basehor court of driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license, both of which Judge Stewart upheld.

The charges Bidnick appealed stemmed from a separate accident, in February 2003, at the intersection of 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24/40 in Basehor.

Basehor police said Bidnick told officers he was not driving during the accident in Basehor. After questioning, police determined Bidnick the driver and arrested him.

He will be sentenced for the charges in March.

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